Elections

April 29, 2014

New federal ruling on voter ID resonates in North Carolina

Voter ID laws in North Carolina, Texas and other states appear more vulnerable to legal challenges after a federal judge struck down a Wisconsin law that required voters show a state issued photo ID at the polls.

Voter ID laws in North Carolina, Texas and other states appear more vulnerable to legal challenges after a federal judge struck down a Wisconsin law that required voters show a state issued photo ID at the polls.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled the Wisconsin law places an unfair burden on poor and minority voters. The ruling could encourge opponents in North Carolina and other states to make similar challenges.

North Carolina and dozens more states require voters to show some form of identification when voting, according to The Associated Press. Legislation is being proposed in many others. The laws’ opponents, including many Democrats, argue the Republican-supported laws are an effort to suppress minority voters. Republicans who support the laws argue requiring a photo ID protects against voter fraud.

The North Carolina ID law was signed in August, two months after the Supreme Court struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act that required jurisdictions with a history of discrimination, many of them in the South, to seek federal approval before changing voter laws.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Tarheel state the following month claiming North Carolina legislators “intentionally” discriminated against minorities. McCrory, who said the law protects against fraud, has said the lawsuit is “without merit.” He cited a video showing the president presenting an ID card to vote in Chicago.

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