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@NCCapitol

State denies elections law violates rights

Posted October 21, 2013

Voting in N.C., voting generic

— State officials responded Monday to two lawsuits filed over sweeping changes to elections laws, denying allegations that the legislation violates voters' rights.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, Common Cause of North Carolina and several individuals sued Gov. Pat McCrory and the State Board of Elections in August, alleging that regulations requiring voters to present photo identification at the polls, limiting early voting and ending same-day registration were designed to suppress voter turnout.

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a third lawsuit, alleging that North Carolina's law is racially motivated. State officials haven't yet responded to it.

McCrory and Republican lawmakers who crafted the legislation contend that North Carolina is merely trying to combat voter fraud and ensure the integrity of its elections, and they note that many other states already have similar laws for voter ID, same-day registration and other provisions in North Carolina's law.

"I think our voting ID laws, yes, by the national media and even by some of the local media in North Carolina, have been greatly exaggerated, and it's commonsense reform that protects the integrity of our ballot box," McCrory said Monday during an appearance at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber responded that data shows that the changes will disproportionately impact minority voters. He said North Carolina should be expanding access to the polls instead of repealing laws that have boosted voter turnout in recent years.

"There has not been any problems with fraud or integrity," Barber said during a conference call with reporters. "The system is not broken; they are breaking the system because they want to break the back of inclusion in our democracy."

N.C. early voting surpasses 1.6 million ballots NAACP confident that courts will hear voting case

He said "democracy is under attack," and North Carolina voters need to fight to ensure similar restrictions aren't enacted elsewhere.

The responses to the two lawsuits filed Monday simply deny every allegation made by the plaintiffs in asking that the suits be dismissed, and they but they don't offer any explanation or defense of the voting changes.

Plaintiffs' attorney Penda Hair said she is confident the courts will hear the case. She claims her side can and will prove that lawmakers intended to discriminate.

"The legislature was well aware of the impact that this law would have on African-Americans and did nothing to mitigate that impact," Hair said.

Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper will lead the state's defense of the law, despite having stated his opposition to it.

McCrory publicly criticized Cooper for that in his Heritage Foundation remarks.

"He can have his personal opinion, but as a lawyer, you should not ... publicize your personal opinion if you're going to be defending people who are promoting this commonsense law. Good lawyers don't do that," the governor said.

154 Comments

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  • miseem Oct 23, 2:27 p.m.

    McCrory publicly criticized Cooper for that in his Heritage Foundation remarks.

    "He can have his personal opinion, but as a lawyer, you should not ... publicize your personal opinion if you're going to be defending people who are promoting this commonsense law. Good lawyers don't do that," the governor said.

    I was going to say McCrory was doing a good job of publicizing his personal opinions in that unbiased Heritage Foundation, but then decided that those most likely were not his opinions, but those of ALEC.

  • IPayYouPay Oct 23, 2:10 p.m.

    Parts of the law does, and parts of the law does not.

  • Stilllearnin Oct 23, 12:45 p.m.

    "registration fraud is NOT voter fraud"

    Yes it is when they voted in both jurisdictions!

  • Stilllearnin Oct 23, 12:43 p.m.

    "This is a racist xenophobic law and I am so glad that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is going to bring the shady GOP politicians of NC to task for it. --welfarequeen"

    Do you actually know that more whites do not have Photo IDs than minorities?

  • ginlee00 Oct 23, 11:47 a.m.

    I am not sure why folks think the voting law requiring a photo ID will stop people from being able to vote. We all have driver's license with our picture on it. Those without a license can get a photo ID at the DMV.What is the problem. I have always had to show my license when I go to the voting place.

  • lavenderdejectedmoon Oct 23, 9:29 a.m.

    North Carolina has an ugly history when it comes to racism.

  • AliceBToklas Oct 22, 5:16 p.m.

    While their at it perhaps they can find time to actually charge the New Black Panther Party for standing outside of voting precincts with weapons intimidating white voters in PA. ON VIDEO! The same guy that was caught on video saying, "We gonna have to ki!! a whole lot of white babies" Yea, that guy. How about it welfarequeen? Alice?
    --CarolinaTim

    Perhaps I found myself on the wrong site. Isn't the subject regarding voting in NC?

  • CarolinaTim Oct 22, 5:06 p.m.

    This is a racist xenophobic law and I am so glad that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is going to bring the shady GOP politicians of NC to task for it.

    welfarequeen
    ============================================================

    While their at it perhaps they can find time to actually charge the New Black Panther Party for standing outside of voting precincts with weapons intimidating white voters in PA. ON VIDEO! The same guy that was caught on video saying, "We gonna have to ki!! a whole lot of white babies"
    Yea, that guy.
    How about it welfarequeen? Alice?

  • AliceBToklas Oct 22, 4:56 p.m.

    This is a racist xenophobic law and I am so glad that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is going to bring the shady GOP politicians of NC to task for it.
    --welfarequeen

    You are an optimist, as am I. We can always hope.

  • AliceBToklas Oct 22, 4:52 p.m.

    Nowhere in this law is any mention of racial preferences.
    --Justic4All

    Completely irrelevant. It's the effects that matter. There was nothing regarding race in the poll tax laws either.

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