Justice Dept. Throws Lawsuit at North Carolina For Its Voting Law
Matt | On 30, Sep 2013
This piece of news really made me smile on this Monday morning.
The U.S. Justice Department is hitting the state of North Carolina and its leadership right where they deserve. They filed a suit to stop the state from implementing its repressive voting overhaul law they passed in late July.
Here’s the shortened version of what has happened…
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. That particular part of the law offered a pre-clearance formula for certain states to change their voting laws. States with a history and recent incidents of discrimination could only change their laws with federal approval. Well, the Supreme Court threw out that entire formula.
North Carolina, in particular, was subject to pre-clearance in 40 of its counties before the June decision. Once the formula was gone, the wacky GOP-led General Assembly made it open season on voters in the Tarheel State. They passed one of the worst voter suppression laws in history — attacking early voting, college students, and those without voter ID, among other things.
On August 22, the U.S. Justice Department lashed out at the state of Texas for their backwards voter suppression bill. Observers have been waiting for them to spank North Carolina. That day has finally arrived!
In court, according to an AP article, the feds plan to challenge North Carolina on at least some of the following:
- The elimination of seven days of early voting
- The elimination of same-day voter registration during the early voting timeframe
- The strict requirement of government-issued IDs at the polls, including the rule that college students cannot vote with their school IDs from state schools
- The rules against certain kinds of provisional ballots cast at the wrong polling location
I’m so happy to see some action from Washington about this attack on voter rights at the state level. The Supreme Court decision gave too many ultra-conservatives the idea that suppression would be the best response to their lack of ideas (and electoral victories nationally) in their party.
If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I cannot wait to see what Rachel Maddow will say on her program at 9:00 p.m. ET tonight! She has kept the spotlight on this issue in North Carolina since before the law passed in July.