By Wendy Underhill

The Department of Justice announced on Sept. 30 that it is filing suit against North Carolina for its new elections law, enacted in July.

Voter id wendy blog“In challenging this law, the Justice Department will present evidence of racially discriminatory effect resulting from these changes – based on the state’s own data,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, in a press release.  He cites the new photo voter ID requirement; the reduction in the number of days for early voting; the elimination of the option to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day during early voting; and how provisional ballots are handled when they are cast in the wrong precinct but within the right county.

In response, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Harry Warren, called the lawsuit “frivolous.” Specifically referring to the early voting hours, he said “It’s actually more equitable. What we’re doing is requiring all early voting precincts to be open uniformly and equally.” As for the photo voter ID provision, he points out that other states already have similar requirements, and have survived court challenges.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory added, “I think it’s obviously influenced by national politics, since the Justice Department ignores similar laws in other blue states throughout America.

The outcome of the case will be watched nationally.

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