Monday, October 05, 2015

NORTH CAROLINA - Voter (supersession) ID Law

"Inside the battle over North Carolina’s voter ID laws" PBS NewsHour 10/3/2015


SUMMARY:  After the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a key part of the Voting Rights Act, North Carolina's Republican-led state legislature passed a new voter ID law and reversed many of the voting procedures civil rights leaders spent years trying to win. Now, the law is being challenged in federal court.  NewsHour's Jeff Greenfield reports.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER:  It’s a crime that we stand here 27 days after the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act and we have less voting rights today.

JEFF GREENFIELD (NewsHour):  That fiery denunciation by Reverend William Barber, head of North Carolina’s N-double A-C-P, may seem out of a different time and place…

REV. WILLIAM BARBER:  Glory! Glory! Glory!

JEFF GREENFIELD:  But Barber believes new laws that alter how, where, and when citizens can vote are designed to disenfranchise as many Black voters as possible.

REV. WILLIAM BARBER:  All of these attacks on voting rights started right after President Obama won in states, and it changed the dynamic.  People came together who hadn’t been coming together in the south.  We know that this is an attempt to roll us backwards.”

JEFF GREENFIELD:  Barber and the NAACP believe photo voter ID laws in North Carolina and more than a dozen other states suppress minority voter turnout, because black and Latino voters are the most likely to lack an acceptable photo ID or the documents to get one.

Decreases in voter turnout have been found in states that require photo IDs to vote.  For example, in the 2008 and 2012 elections, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office attributed a two percent decrease in turnout in Kansas and a two-to-three percent decrease in Tennessee to their photo ID laws.

And many voters in North Carolina are struggling with their new voter ID law that goes into effect in 2016.  94 year old Rosanell Eaton is one of them.

Her daughter drove her 250 miles back and forth from the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security offices to get a photo ID, because the name on her driver’s license—her married name – did not match her maiden name on her voter registration from over 70 years ago.

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