NC Accused Of Blocking Voters On Super Tuesday With New Voter ID Law

Before, during, and after Super Tuesday, reports were coming in stating quite plainly that the state of North Carolina was blocking voters.

It’s said that the reason why voters feel they’re being blocked is due to the new voter ID restrictions required for certain people to vote.

Apparently, North Carolina is one of the 16 states with the new voting restrictions.

Think Progress was one source covering this story, saying that the new North Carolina Law is specifically blocking student voters, due to the fact that they do not have acceptable IDs.

Is NC Blocking Voters?
Students are having to go through the process of filling out forms to obtain provisional ballots, which usually run the risk of not being counted.

And under current North Carolina law, people who have registered to vote within 90 days of Election Day can use an out-of-state ID to vote – which is an important provision for students who attend school away from their home state, but those who registered more than 90 days before Election Day and do not have a North Carolina ID are being forced to cast provisional ballots.

The Christian Science Monitor reported on one case of one of many voters who has had the patience of going through the process to obtain their right to vote, costing over $86 dollars and taking up to two years.

In defense of the new voter ID laws, supporters have often claimed it prevents voter fraud. But the article refers to a story by The Washington Post from 2014, during the mid-terms, which says voter fraud is not a great enough issue for the law to be necessary.

Regarding provisional ballots, the Christian Science Monitor says that in states like Texas, Kansas, and Tennessee, additional steps are need after Election Day in order for those ballots to count.

MSNBC goes into more specifics about the issue, mentioning that student IDs are not accepted under the law and that students would still have to return the following week after the early voting period in order for their votes to count.

The article reminds us that NC’s law was put into place after the Supreme Court “weakened” the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

The majority of the reports point out that these obstacles — which essentially block voters — have been put into place by Republican-held legislatures, and enforced in areas which are predominantly known to vote Democrat, to make it more difficult for Democrats to get the vote.

NC blocking student voters
In the video provided by PBS NewsHour, Rep. David Lewis to a certain extent acknowledged partisan politics at play, but Lewis said the laws were certainly not designed with racial discriminatory intent.

For instance, The Philadelphia Tribune goes through a list of new laws put into place by North Carolina, and one of them prevents voters from registering on the same day they vote. Another keeps young voters who are about close to turning 18, but have birthdays after a primary or election, from being able to register at 17.

The original instigator of this news was an article in The Nation, which spotlights elderly voters’ problems with the process of eligibility.

Despite the issues reported where it’s taken some of these voters a long time to get the right documents, the article does say that because the GOP legislature was worried their law would not pass, they put in what is called a “reasonable impediment” for those having difficulties, which comes back to the issues previously referred to regarding a provisional ballot.

It’s already been mentioned earlier that these ballots could be declined, which only adds to the possibly active effort for North Carolina to block voters, but The Nation adds that half of the provisional ballots cast in 2014 were rejected.

[Featured image by James Willamor via Flickr | CC BY 2.0]