Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

North Carolina Passes the Country's Worst Voter Suppression Law

By       Message Ari Berman     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Funny 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/27/13

Author 80943
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)


I've been in Texas this week researching the history of the Voting Rights Act at the LBJ Library. As I've been studying how the landmark civil rights law transformed American democracy, I've also been closely following how Republicans in North Carolina -- parts of which were originally covered by the VRA in 1965 -- have made a mockery of the law and its prohibition on voting discrimination.

Late last night, the North Carolina legislature passed the country's worst voter suppression law after only three days of debate. Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog called it "the most sweeping anti-voter law in at least decades" The bill mandates strict voter ID to cast a ballot (no student IDs, no public employee IDs, etc.), even though 318,000 registered voters lack the narrow forms of acceptable ID according to the state's own numbers and there have been no recorded prosecutions of voter impersonation in the past decade. 

The bill cuts the number of early voting days by a week, even though 56 percent of North Carolinians voted early in 2012. The bill eliminates same-day voter registration during the early voting period, even though 96,000 people used it during the general election in 2012 and states that have adopted the convenient reform have the highest voter turnout in the country. African-Americans are 23 percent of registered voters in the state, but made up 28 percent of early voters in 2012; 33 percent of those who used same-day registration and 34 percent of those without state-issued ID.

And that's just the start of it. In short, the bill eliminates practically everything that encourages people to vote in North Carolina, replaced by unnecessary and burdensome new restrictions. At the same time, the bill expands the influence of unregulated corporate influence in state elections. Just what our democracy needs--more money and less voting!

"I want you to understand what this bill means to people," said Representative Mickey Michaux (D-Durham), the longest-serving member of the North Carolina House and a veteran of the civil rights movement who grew up in the Jim Crow South. "We have fought for, died for and struggled for our right to vote. You can take these 57 pages of abomination and confine them to the streets of Hell for all eternity."

Here are the details of everything bad about the bill, via North Carolina Policy Watch. It's a very long list:

 The end of pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds

 A ban on paid voter registration drives

 Elimination of same day voter registration

 A provision allowing voters to be challenged by any registered voter of the county in which they vote rather than just their precinct

 A week sliced off Early Voting

 Elimination of straight party ticket voting

 A provision making the state's presidential primary date a function of the primary date in South Carolina

 A provision calling for a study (rather than a mandate) of electronic candidate filing

To see the rest of this list and article, go to The Nation.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Funny 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.thenation.com
Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute. He has written extensively about American politics, foreign policy and the intersection of money and (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Eleventh-Hour GOP Voter Suppression Could Swing Ohio

Ohio GOP Admits Early Voting Cutbacks Are Racially Motivated

Separate and Unequal Voting in Arizona and Kansas

North Carolina Passes the Country's Worst Voter Suppression Law

Ohio GOP Resurrects Voter Suppression Efforts

Discriminatory South Carolina Voter ID Law Challenged in Federal Court