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U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Part Of North Carolina Voter ID Law

Voter ID laws seem to be the most contentious, divisive issue facing American politics. Over the past several years, many states including Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin have enacted strict voter ID laws. The issue has been a hot issue since the 2000 election that saw George W. Bush defeat Al Gore for the presidential election that year.

The 2000 and 2012 elections were at the height of contention as both were questioned as to the authenticity of their voting ballots. Voter fraud was alleged in both, which led to the massive recount that took place in 2000, but eventually declared George W. Bush the winner. Voter fraud is still considered an issue today with many states passing or considering to pass laws to curb it.

In June, North Carolina was the state that seemed hand-picked by the Attorney General Eric Holder for a lawsuit to rescind what he called a “restrictive” and discriminatory law. Attorney General Holder seem to hold that racial animus was the causation of this change in law, the Washington Post reported.

“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans.”

Eventually, a federal judge in North Carolina held a week long hearing on whether minorities in the state were adversely affected and concluded that the effect was negligible, or “not sufficient” enough to warrant an injunction, according to Yahoo News. This naturally led to an appeal. The decision was handed down Wednesday afternoon.

According to Reuters, a 2-1 vote struck down two key provisions Wednesday but the totality of the law remained intact. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that same-day voting and voting “outside of normal precincts” should be reinstated into law, as North Carolina’s 2013 Voter ID Law removed those options from the law at that time. The majority opinion agreed with Mr. Holder.

“Whether the number is 30 or 30,000, surely some North Carolina minority voters will be disproportionately adversely affected in the upcoming election, and once the election occurs, there can be no do-over and no redress.”

North Carolina’s governor vowed to appeal the ruling before the week was out. The executive director of the State Board of Elections expressed concern that their would be confusion caused by the change of procedure so close to the November 4 elections. This move comes at a time when a hotly contested seat for the U.S. Senate is up for grabs in North Carolina.

voter id laws - wikipedia

Information on states and their own voter ID law can be seen above, and more information from National Conference for State Legislatures.

North Carolina was one of at least three states that have faced lawsuits for their voter ID laws by Attorney General Holder. Texas was the first, according to The Inquisitr, and Ohio was also in the crosshairs.

Was this move intentional or were minority votes being suppressed? What are your thoughts?

Leave your comments below.

[Images via Wikipedia And Wikimedia Commons]