Common Cause Applauds Department of Justice for Suing North Carolina Over Its New Restrictive Voting Law

Posted by Stephen Spaulding on September 30, 2013

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Amidst the coverage of an impending government shutdown, the Department of Justice announced today that it was suing North Carolina to halt its breathtakingly restrictive new voting law.

Common Cause applauds Attorney General Holder's announcement this afternoon.

(Common Cause North Carolina previously announced that it was pursuing its own lawsuit. You can read more about that here).

North Carolina's new law that passed earlier this summer reduces early voting opportunities, eliminates same-day voter registration, imposes a narrow, overly restrictive voter identification requirement, and will penalize voters who cast ballots in the correct county but the wrong precinct. In short, it makes it harder for citizens to stand up and make their voices heard at the ballot box -- and we know it will affect voters of color, young people and senior citizens disproportionately.

In making the announcement, Attorney General Holder said that "the Justice Department will present evidence of racially discriminatory effects resulting from these changes -- based on the state's own data. The evidence will also show that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted this legislation despite having evidence before it that these changes would make it harder for many minority voters to participate in the electoral process."

The Department of Justice is suing under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) which still stands after the Supreme Court struck down the more robust provision of the VRA in June. The Department of Justice must prove that the voting changes in North Carolina will result in denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or language minority status.

In the meantime, Common Cause will continue to push for Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act in its entirety, so that states that pass these burdensome laws bear the burden of proof that their laws are not discriminatory in effect or purpose.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections

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