Voter ID on hold for N.C’s 2020 primary

Posted 1/3/20

A federal court has placed a temporary hold on a voter identification requirement for North Carolina’s 2020 primary elections.

The announcement came as a note from the court, with the full order …

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Voter ID on hold for N.C’s 2020 primary

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Posted

A federal court has placed a temporary hold on a voter identification requirement for North Carolina’s 2020 primary elections.

The announcement came as a note from the court, with the full order expected sometime this week. The reason for the early announcement was to alert the N.C. Board of Elections, and local elections boards, in advance of a massive mailing it had planned to educate voters on the process.

The order is a result of a case filed by several branches of the NAACP to the 2018 N.C. law that was instituted following the successful passage of a state Constitutional amendment supporting voter ID laws that same year. The petitioners in the case argue that the law is discriminatory, as was the earlier 2013 voter ID law that was struck down by the courts in 2016 as unconstitutional before being fully enacted. The case, NAACP et. al. v. Cooper, is one of at least two challenging the 2018 law.

The law required all registered voters to provide photo identification in order to vote. Approved types of photo IDs included drivers licenses, passports and school IDs. In addition, the law included a provision where voters could obtain a voter ID directly from their local board of elections office at no cost.

Conservatives and pro-voter ID groups have argued that photo IDs help prevent voter fraud, but studies show that type of fraud is extremely rare, including one study performed by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Opponents of photo ID requirements argue that this type of legislation disproportionately affects people living in poverty and people of color.

The temporary injunction may be appealed by N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, whose office stated it would need to review the official order before deciding the next steps.

Reporter Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.

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