North Carolina Passes Voter ID, Abortion Bills
Both are already mired in controversy
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 26, 2013 9:22 AM CDT
Voters cast their ballots at the Herbert Young Community Center polling place in Cary, N.C.. on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, the first day of early voting in North Carolina.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Shawn Rocco)

(Newser) – Say this for North Carolina's legislature: It's not afraid of controversy. Fresh from approving a bill allowing guns on playgrounds and in bars, lawmakers last night finished off their legislative session by passing both a sweeping abortion bill and a contentious voter ID bill. Here's the skinny on each:

  • The abortion bill would tighten regulations on clinics to such an extent that only one of the state's 16 clinics would currently meet them, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. It would also require more meetings between clinic doctors and patients, and limit insurance coverage of abortion.
  • The voting law, meanwhile, would require would-be voters to present a photo ID, shorten the early voting window from 17 days to 10, and eliminate both same-day registration and a popular high school civics program that registers thousands of soon-to-be 18-year-olds to vote, the AP reports. It also weakens campaign finance disclosure rules, allowing political parties to take unlimited corporate donations.

Both laws are now headed to the governor, Republican Pat McCrory, who has said he will sign the abortion bill—despite a campaign promise not to support new abortion restrictions. He hasn't said if he'll sign the voter ID bill, but if he does, it'll likely be challenged in court, the AP observes, as Eric Holder yesterday said he'd challenge a similar bill in Texas.

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Jul 27, 2013 7:17 AM CDT
Republican Staffers Charged With 36 Counts of Election FraudThe party of voter ID laws may need to clean up their own house first when it comes to election fraud. It turns out that the Republican Party’s obsession with voter fraud may be yet another case of projection. Four former staffers for resigned House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter have been charged with 36 counts of misdemeanor and felony election fraud. Yesterday one of those staffers, Lorianne O’Brady, pled not guilty to five misdemeanor counts of submitting fraudulent signatures on a ballot petition. O’Brady is the last of the four staffers to be arraigned; the other three, Don Yowchuang, Mary Melissa Turnbull, and Paul Seewald, were arraigned on similar charges on August 10th.
Jul 27, 2013 7:14 AM CDT
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Jul 27, 2013 7:09 AM CDT
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