Durham (North Carolina), Aug. 13: One of America’s most restrictive voter ID bills was signed into law yesterday by North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican.
The new law requires voters to show government-issued ID cards, with polling places not allowed to accept college ID cards or out-of-state driver’s licenses. The law also shortens early voting by a week; eliminates same-day voter registration; allows any registered voter to challenge another voter’s eligibility; and ends popular preregistration for high school students.
Republicans have said the law will combat voter fraud and restore integrity to voting, but they have offered no evidence of voter fraud in the state. Civil rights groups and many independent analysts say the law is a blatant attempt to curb voting by blacks, students, the poor and other groups that tend to vote Democratic. The law takes effect for the 2016 elections.
Civil rights groups have threatened to sue the state and attorney general Eric Holder has said the justice department may pursue legal challenges to voter ID laws passed by several states, including North Carolina.
North Carolina Republicans introduced the so-called Restore Confidence in Government Act after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in June. The court overturned the Act’s requirement for Justice Department “pre-clearance” for any changes to voting laws in certain states.