NAACP ready to challenge any changes to NC voting laws

Posted June 26, 2013

— Leaders of the state chapter of the NAACP said Wednesday that they are prepared to challenge any changes to North Carolina's voting laws in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down part of the landmark Voting Rights Act.

The justices said in 5-4 vote Tuesday that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society. The ruling means a key provision of the Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with an up-to-date formula for deciding which states and localities still need federal monitoring.

"This bad ruling of the ultra-conservative justices on the Supreme Court attacks the very heart of our democracy," said Rev. William Barber, state president of the NAACP.

The Voting Rights Act, which was designed to protect the rights of minority voters in places with a history of voter suppression, has applied to nine states and parts of seven more, including most of eastern North Carolina. It has required the states to receive federal approval of any changes to their voting laws, including the voting maps drawn after each redistricting.

"Saying that the high turnout of African-Americans is proof that the Voting Rights Act is not needed is to miss the point. The turnout is high because of the protection of the Voting Rights Act," Barber said.

NAACP news conference Voting rights advocates blast Supreme Court decision

Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, said Tuesday that the state Senate plans to roll out a package of changes to voting laws next week. It could include provisions requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, reducing the time for early voting and eliminating same-day voter registration.

Barber criticized Apodaca for calling the Voting Rights Act a headache in expressing relief the state was now free from its regulations.

"I don't know if I used the word 'headache' or not, but it was always an obstacle and always cost additional time and money to run things to Washington and get them reviewed," Apodaca said Wednesday.

Action North Carolina, a liberal advocacy group, plans phone banks in several cities across the state next week to generate opposition to any changes to state voting laws, Barber said.


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  • rushbot Jun 27, 2013

    good..i support the naacp in this!!!

  • josephlawrence43 Jun 27, 2013

    Well, for anyone interested(if any)just hang on until "Immoral Monday" when the NAACP, the Church of Divine Disruption and Disturbance, and other varied and sundried agencies, organizations and nere do wells will once again populate the Legislative Building. Its for sure they'll have yet another song and dance, weep and sob statement to make about the absolute unfairness of the whole system. And its equally assured that WRAL will be there to give the agitators all the public exposure they want. Never mind that these "events" are old news--apparently nobody has told WRAL that its ok to quit riding a horse after its dead...

  • wildpig777 Jun 27, 2013

    anyone can see willie b. is not interested in the least in democracy-- he doesnt adhere to the belief that in a free society democracy rules....

    under his vision of freedom the special interest club [ naacp ] knows whats best for all people. the kind of thinking willie b. exhibits is in line with communist china.

  • Spartacus Jun 27, 2013

    What a pathetic little man (in a big man's body).
    He can cry, and whine, and stomp his feet and do whatever,
    but this train has left the station. The Supreme Court has ruled. End of story.

  • davisgw Jun 27, 2013

    This means that the burden of proof has switched to the other side. From now on Mr Barber and his associated will have to do more than claim discrimination.

  • lec02572 Jun 27, 2013

    "This bad ruling of the ultra-conservative justices on the Supreme Court attacks the very heart of our democracy," said Rev. William Barber, state president of the NAACP.

    Is this the same ultra-conservative justices that are allowing same sex marriage? Wow, I guess conservative has a whole new meaning. If you want to challenge voter changes, go for it. The Supreme Court has spoken.

  • tracmister Jun 26, 2013

    I don't normally side with the NAACP, but since there are still areas in this state with a clear division between black and white, I hate to say the Supreme Court is wrong. There are plenty of racial problems in areas of North Carolina that need federal protection.

  • Spock Jun 26, 2013

    Nothing happening here... now move on.

  • anonemoose Jun 26, 2013

    Would we expect any less? They don't even know what they are challenging, just that they want their org in the news.