A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has struck down North Carolina’s voter identification requirement, arguing that it was passed with racially discriminatory intent. The court called the law, “one of the largest restrictions on the franchise in modern North Carolina history.”
The ruling also invalidates other aspects of the 2013 law, including limits the state placed on early voting, same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and preregistration. This decision overturns the April ruling of the Federal District Court in Winston Salem, which released a 485 page decision upholding the voting law.
Writing on behalf of the three judge panel, Judge Diana Motz wrote that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted these laws, “in the immediate aftermath of unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with a troubled racial history and racially polarized voting. The district court clearly erred in ignoring or dismissing this historical background evidence, all of which supports a finding of discriminatory intent.”
North Carolina is now the third state to have their voter identification law struck down or amended by a federal court in July 2016 alone. A total of 34 states have laws requiring people to show identification before being permitted to vote.