State Sabotages Own Voting Laws

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On Friday (December 16), the Supreme Court of North Carolina struck down state legislation regarding Voter ID, ruling it violated the state’s constitution and had a racially discriminatory purpose.

The legislation struck down — Senate Bill 824 — was passed by a Republican majority in the state’s legislature in 2018. The passage by the state Senate went over North Carolina’s Democratic governor’s veto.

The legislation sought to implement an amendment to the state’s constitution, requiring voters to provide photo ID.

In its findings, the court the legislation that appeared neutral at face value targeted Black voters unlikely to vote for the Republican Party or its candidates.

The court concluded in its ruling on Holmes v Moore that it didn’t believe the Republican Senators “harbored racial animus” toward Black voters but that the law primarily “targeted voters who, based on race, were unlikely to vote for the [Republican] party.”

The court pointed out how the law would disproportionately affect Black voters and, furthering its decision, noted that Republicans decided to pass the law in an unprecedented move to call a lame-duck session during the last few weeks the GOP still had a supermajority in the state legislature.

Elaborating on its conclusion, the court highlighted that the GOP Senators could have achieved the same outcome with a less restrictive law “Given the rarity of voter fraud in North Carolina.

The law, it opined, would still have success deterring voter fraud and increasing voter confidence in the state’s electoral system.