An attempt by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina to pass a statewide voter identification law was blocked by members of the state appeals court, who waved their fingers like Dikembe Mutombo and said the law discriminates against black voters.
According to CNN, Senate Bill 824 was originally passed in 2018 after the GOP lost its qualified majority in the state legislature. Voters in North Carolina would need to present photo ID to vote. Strict laws like this are seen as a deprivation of rights because not all U.S. citizens have proper photo ID, which includes a disproportionate number of people of color.
For this very reason, the Court of Appeal put the brakes on the law under a preliminary injunction before it can officially come into force in 2020.
Speak Raleigh News & Observer, the three-judge state Superior Court panel decided to block the law completely on Friday because it was partially drafted with the intention of making it more difficult for black residents to vote in elections.
From News & Observer:
“In coming to this conclusion, we do not find that a member of the General Assembly who voted in favor of (your ID) harbors any animosity or racial hatred towards African-American voters, but rather … that the majority republican “target[ed] voters who, because of their race, were unlikely to vote for the majority party. Even if this is done for partisan purposes, it constitutes[s] racial discrimination.'”
The News & Observer reports that while most states have some variation on the Voter ID Act, not all of them strictly require photo ID like North Carolina lawmakers intended. Some accept utility bills and other documents to prove identity, while other states that require photo ID offer variations of acceptable ID.
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a a practical breakdown of accepted IDs in states with voter ID laws if you’re curious.
More News & Observer:
“Other, less restrictive voter identification laws would have been sufficient to achieve the legitimate non-racial objectives of implementing the constitutional amendment requiring voter identification, deterring fraud or enhancing voter confidence,” wrote the judges.
Understandably, the move did not please the state’s Republican Party, which argued that the bill’s purpose was in fact to prevent voter fraud, an issue the News & Observer rarely highlights on elections in North Carolina.
A key example given by the newspaper was the 2016 election, when the state launched a detailed audit of each allegation of illegal voting in each county.
Not only the results elections in North Carolina remain the same if it turns out that one of the 508 possible cases of fraud were true, only one of allegations turned out to be the kind of fraud that Voter ID laws would actually prevent it, according to the News & Observer.
In this case, The News & Observer reported, a woman from Catawba County admitted to pretending to be her recently deceased mother to vote for Trump again. The local district attorney, a Republican, refused to prosecute her.
So here is. There is that.
Through ABC 11, legal adviser to Tim Moore, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives, released a statement highlighting that two Democratic lawmakers also co-sponsored the bill and echoing Judge Nathaniel J’s dissenting opinion Poovey, who there said no evidence presented during the trial proved that lawmakers intended to discriminate.
“This fight is far from over,” Sam Hayes, Moore’s legal advisor, said in the statement.. “We look forward to appealing this partisan decision on behalf of the people of North Carolina. “