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@NCCapitol

State judge allows voter ID lawsuit to proceed

Posted February 27, 2015

Early voting in Wake County

— The lawsuit in state court over North Carolina's voter ID law will proceed, but a Superior Court judge refused to strike down the law out of hand.

Judge Michael Morgan made public Friday an 11-page order he authored three days ago, saying he could not make a final decision in the case based on court filings and legal pleadings alone.

Those who brought the lawsuit include the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and the A. Philip Randolph Institute of North Carolina, as well as individual plaintiffs represented by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and other lawyers. Morgan said that they failed to prove up front that "the requirement of a photo identification to cast an election ballot now creates anew some financial sacrifice upon a person's ability to vote."

However, he also said that the state had failed to make its case that the lawsuit should be thrown out entirely and that both sides should prepare for trial this summer.

"We're going to show how this law has a negative impact on voters of color and voters that do not have the resource to obtain an ID," Melvin Montford, executive director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute of North Carolina, said in a statement.

Although the battle over the 2013 Voter Information Verification Act, or VIVA, is complex, involving both state and federal litigation, the issues at hand in the state case boil down to whether there will be people who are unable to vote due to the voter ID requirement.

Proponents of the law have argued that they have provided for a range of acceptable IDs, including the option to obtain a free ID from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, for would-be voters.

Opponents said that, for very poor residents, even a free ID requires time off work and money spent on transportation that they can little afford.

Morgan did throw out two sets of claims made by the plaintiffs that drew on arguments that VIVA represented an unconstitutional property ownership requirement and trespassed against a guarantee of free elections. However, he said claims involving equal protection of all individuals remain alive and will be contested this July.

A federal lawsuit over similar issues as well as other provisions in the VIVA law is expected to go to trial this summer as well.

Most voters have not yet been required to present ID at the polls. The first time North Carolina's voter ID requirement is due to take hold is for the 2016 presidential primary, currently scheduled for late February of next year.

19 Comments

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  • Jack Jones Mar 2, 2015
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    And EVERY Republican legislator cowers when asked to defend these additional voter suppression tactics, not only because these wouldn't stop "voter fraud", but because there is NO substantial fraud to justify any of it.

  • Jack Jones Mar 2, 2015
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    Yet the ID is only a SMALL part of the voter suppression law. Republicans included shifting polling locations, reducing Early-Voting days, tax penalties when students vote at campus polling stations, eliminating pre-registration for voting, adding vigilantes at the polls, eliminating straight ballot voting, etc.

  • Carl Keehn Mar 2, 2015
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    The issue is not as much the requirement for ID, as it is the type of id which is required. Getting a state ID is not necessarily as easy as people claim that it is, especially if required documentation is not readily available. In addition, the type of ID required would disenfranchise college students. Since 1979 and the Supreme Court Case, Symm v. the United States, the right of college students to vote where they attend school has been recognized.

  • Jay Tanenbaum Mar 2, 2015
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    Please stop with the Acorn talk already. O'Keefe doctored the video and Acorn turned themselves in over that. Plus, they have be de-funded for numerous years now.

    As for that lady who voted 7 times, it's true. Except you forgot one small detail. She was also a poll worker. She knew her family didn't vote and was able to steal their votes from the inside.

    For those of you who think this is an effective way of stealing votes, here's what has to happen. If I am to steal your vote, I have to know where you vote. I then have to show up and wait in line, then I have to hope no one at the precinct doesn't know you nor me. And then, I have to hope you don't show up at that time or that you haven't already voted. That's a lot to go "right" in order to steal one vote.

    Want to stop for voter fraud, start with absentee ballots. Also, you have a better chance of getting hit by lightening than having your vote stolen! It's a ruse.

  • James Grimes Jr. Mar 1, 2015
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    Despite working for Walmart, whenever I go pickup an item at Site to Store, I have to show ID. To get medicine from the pharmacy, I have to show ID. Going to see the doctor, ID. Want to do anything at the bank? ID. ID is required for just about anything dealing with data. If you don't have one, then you seriously don't get out enough.

  • Joseph Shepard Feb 28, 2015
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    I don't know what all the noise is about---the SCOTUS has already ruled that requiring voter ID is CONSTITUTIONAL. So what is the problem, except that the NAACP and their hangers on don't like the ruling, so they want it changed. They'll be hanging on and fighting for this 10 years from now...More of this "victim mentality" stuff..Grow up

  • Edward Levy Feb 28, 2015
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    This is TRUE! I went this week to have a colonoscopy and had to show an ID. Before that I had to show an ID to get the preparation drink. Why an ID for this whole procedure. Who but the actual person wants to drink it, go through the next 12 hours of you know what, then have the colonoscopy if they are not who they say who they are without showing a photo. Especially the photo is the face only. True, but good for a laugh

  • Amy LaFluer Feb 28, 2015
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    We have the Constitutional Right to Bear Arms, rules have been mandated to waiting periods, IDs required, who cannot posses them. Not saying that all of them are a bad thing, but neither is requiring an ID for voting. The point of those laws are to stop incidents so is the ID. Like the other one said, its disinterested, but honestly everyone should have an ID, it should actually be required, but I guess you wouldn't if you have warrants or a reason too. Because if it benefited the person, they would have sure they got one.

  • Judy Fergerson Feb 28, 2015
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    Edward, perhaps the same reason to show ID when my Dr. who has me listed as a patient of his sends me to another facility to get a colonoscopy and I am asked for a photo ID there. IT IS TO VERIFY MY IDENTITY AT THAT FACILITY. When I get to the voting polls, the same should be required before I cast my vote.

  • Rick Fetter Feb 28, 2015
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    You could not be further from the truth. They prove voter fraud after every election. The problem is that DOJ has turned a blind eye to it and does not prosecute the fraudster. Even when the fraud is made public on a national scale like the FL woman who came right out and admitted she voter 7 times in the same election or when ACORN was proven to falsify registration cards or when more votes are cast in a small OH town than there are residence or out of state collage students that vote locally and also absentee in their home state. There is plenty of proof of voter fraud just little to no prosecution. There needs to be some way to bring integrity back to the voting process. Everyone's vote should count equally. ID's will help but not stop the fraud.

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