After the Shelby v Holder Decision - States Change Voting Laws – North Carolina 1

Last July, the North Carolina state Senate passed new controversial voting laws in a 33-14 vote. It was then approved by the state House 73-41, shaping the first of a number of actions that was forecast to happen due to the aftereffects of that passed June's Supreme Court ruling which found the formula for Section 5 of the Voter Right Act unconstitutional. In early August, Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law. The new laws will limit the time-frame for early voting from seventeen to ten days and require photo identification for all voters. It will also terminate pre-registration and disallow high school students from the registration process before their eighteenth birthday, as well as eliminating same-day voter registration.

In an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, approximately a month before the bill was signed by the Governor, state Senator Tom Apodaca stated that one reason "we want a state-issued ID or a federal issued ID" is because college IDs "could be manipulated."

Upon signing the bill, Governor McCrory was quoted as saying "Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote."

After the bill was signed into law, state Senator Bob Rucho (R-NC), a strong supporter of the law justified its passing by saying Photo ID is mandatory to "go into Bank of America to cash a check, to take care of welfare papers or to go on an airplane."

Critics of the law called it discriminatory and pointed out that there were few actual cases of voter fraud identified in the state.

However, a few days later, McCrory said to critics of the new law "Even if the instances of misidentified people casting votes are low, that shouldn't prevent us from putting this non-burdensome safeguard in place." He further stated "Just because you haven't been robbed doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your doors at night or when you're away from home."

Proponents of the law have been travelling to county elections boards in their determination to explain that voter fraud has occurred on a larger scale but has been ineffectually investigated. They have also stated that shortening the time-frame for early voting will largely save money for the state. State Senator Bob Rucho, a strong supporter of the new law said "shortening the time window for early voting is designed to achieve consistency in all the state's polling places."

One example of the alleged fraud issue was in the city of Pembroke, a Robeson County town, where so many apparent "irregularities" were found in the November municipal election that the state Board of Elections ordered a new vote and the local district attorney called for a probe into the matter.

Additionally, in January of this year, the effort led by the Republican board in Forsyth County came to fruition when the County director of elections was fired by the state director, after being charged with numerous inaccuracies in a vote recount for an election that took place in Tobaccoville in November.
 
Opponents of the new law had been fighting against the modifications, arguing that they symbolize an effort to suppress the youth and minority vote, along with reducing advantages of early voting. The battle has been waged by Democrats and minority groups among others.

To go to Page 2, Click Here