Yesterday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed an restrictive voter ID bill into law.
The law cuts the number of early voting days from 14 to eight, prohibits same day voter registration, and prevents 16 and 17 year olds from pre-registering. Also under the new law, voters will be required to show voter id at the polls before being allowed to vote. College and university IDs will not be accepted.
Many state officials and civil rights advocates have criticized McCrory’s decision. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) said in a statement “This bill was much more than just voter ID. There were dozens of reasons to veto this bad elections bill with its restrictions on voting, more corporate campaign money and reduced public disclosure being just a few.” Reverend William Barber, president of the state NAACP chapter told reporters “It is a trampling on the blood, sweat and tears of the martyrs – black and white – who fought for voting rights in this country. It puts McCrory on the wrong side of history.”
The law has also gained regional and national attention. Allison Riggs, a lawyer with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, told reporters, “This is a naked attempt to predetermine election outcomes by making it harder for certain people to vote: poor people, people of color, elderly people and young people.”
At the American Bar Association’s national conference yesterday, Hillary Clinton highlighted the North Carolina bill, which she claimed “reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression.” She criticized the Supreme Court decision to gut the Voting Rights Act, saying “In the weeks since the ruling, we’ve seen an unseemly rush by previously covered jurisdictions to enact or enforce laws that will make it harder for millions of our fellow Americans to vote.”
Hours after being signed into law, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Civil Rights announced that they will be filing a lawsuit challenging the early voting cuts and same-day registration ban, though not the photo ID requirement.
Media Resources: Reuters 8/13/2013; Associated Press 8/12/2013; Huffington Post 8/12/2013; Feminist Newswire 7/24/2013, 6/25/2013