North Carolina's voter ID law isn't just wrong, it's unconstitutional: That novel argument will be heard this week at a hearing where students are joining the NAACP, ACLU, the Justice Department, and voter-registration advocates in a challenge against law HB 589, the New York Times reports. The students' legal reps will argue that North Carolina's law contradicts the 26th Amendment, which states that a voter's rights "shall not be denied or abridged ... on account of age." The amendment also made 18-year-olds eligible to vote. North Carolina's law invalidated student ID cards at the polls and eliminated same-day registration, among other things.
Critics say the state's GOP-controlled general assembly passed HB 589 to disenfranchise voters likely to support Democrats, like students and minority members. But supporters say it's a fraud-prevention effort that's even more fair because it's being rolled out gradually; they also say minority turnout didn't decline in last year's primaries. "There was no voter suppression," a GOP state senator told WRAL. "Actually we had some good turnouts for a primary election." The law followed swiftly after the Supreme Court nixed a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act last year, the Guardian notes. That provision had forced nine states, North Carolina included, to get federal approval before altering voting rules. (More voter ID laws stories.)