Uncategorized

Justice Department sues North Carolina over voting law changes (complaint attached)

The Justice Department filed suit against North Carolina  today, challenging several portions of the voting law changes enacted into law in July and following through on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s promise to renew enforcement of  the Voting Rights Act in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder.

The complaint names the state,  the North Carolina State Board of Elections, and the Executive Director for the State Board of Elections as defendants and cites several provisions of House Bill 589, the so-called “monster voting law,” as violative of the Voting Rigths Act. In particular, it cites  the elimination of the first week of early voting, which reduces the total number of days of early voting (from 17 days to 10 days); the elimination of same-day voter registration during the early voting period; the prohibition on counting certain provisional ballots; and the failure to provide adequate safeguards for voters who lack the limited types of acceptable photo identification cards that will be required in future elections.  The first three changes are scheduled to take effect in 2014, and the last change will take effect in 2016.

The department is asking the court to prohibit North Carolina from enforcing these requirements, and also requests that the court order bail-in relief under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.  If granted, this would subject North Carolina to a new preclearance requirement.

In announcing the DOJ action, Holder said:

By restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.  “Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation.  Whenever warranted by the facts and the law, the department will not hesitate to use the tools and legal authorities at our disposal to fight against racial discrimination, to stand against disenfranchisement, and to safeguard the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot.

Read the full complaint here.

 

Check Also

State Supreme Court rules retroactive application of teacher tenure repeal is unconstitutional

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously today that ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

More than a month after a deadline to correct faulty campaign finance reports, N.C. Sen. Ralph Hise [...]

Even before he dropped the gavel on the Senate Finance Committee meeting, Sen. Jerry Tillman, a noto [...]

The $23 billion budget deal speeding through the N.C. General Assembly this week includes a platoon [...]

Royal Diadem Jewelers in Greensboro sets itself apart in a number of small ways - fast and friendly [...]

The final budget that lawmakers have proposed fails to strengthen the foundation of North Carolina’s [...]

Most of the initial headlines about the final budget agreement announced Monday afternoon by legisla [...]

Unexplained, backroom maneuver would rob already underfunded anti-poverty program There’s no denying [...]

Women and their access to health care has been in the news these past few months, as the plan to rep [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more