Court: NC Law Clearly Passed to Discriminate Against Black Voters

Federal court struck down the 2013 voter ID law on Friday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2016 1:07 PM CDT
Court: NC Law Clearly Passed to Discriminate Against Black Voters
North Carolina voter ID rules are posted at the door of the voting station last March at a firehouse in Greensboro. The state's new voting restrictions were struck down Friday.   (Andrew Krech/News & Record via AP)

(Newser) – A restrictive 2013 North Carolina voter ID law was struck down for being passed with "racially discriminatory intent," Politico reports. Three federal appeals court judges ruled unanimously Friday that the law violated both the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. Judge Diana Motz says North Carolina lawmakers passed the new voting restrictions "in the immediate aftermath of unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with a troubled racial history and racially polarized voting." According to the Charlotte Observer, North Carolina voters will no longer be required to show a photo ID when voting, and 16- and 17-year-olds can once again pre-register to vote. The ruling also brought back a week of early voting, the Washington Post reports.

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The ACLU points out that all of the practices, including out-of-precinct voting, done away with by the 2013 law—and brought back by Friday's ruling—are ones "disproportionately used by African-Americans." In 2014, the law kept 12,000 people from registering to vote on election day and tossed out 1,600 ballots mistakenly cast in the wrong precinct. Seventeen states moved to have stricter voting laws in the wake of high African-American voter turnout in 2012. Three of those laws—Texas, Wisconsin, and now North Carolina—have been struck down this month. North Carolina can appeal the ruling to a higher court, but that's unlikely to change anything before November's election. (Read more voter ID laws stories.)

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