Online Originals: NC Voter ID law struck down by federal judge

Online Originals

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) A voter ID law passed over a year ago by voters statewide has been struck down, for now, by a federal judge.

Loretta Biggs, a U.S. District Court Judge, cited the states “sordid history of racial discrimination and voter suppression” in a 60-page ruling.

The decision was released Tuesday and prevents requiring voters in North Carolina to provide ID beginning in 2020.

Mixed reactions have come from the ruling and in a statement, Lt. Governor Dan Forest urged Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Coopers Election Board to “uphold their oaths to the constitution and laws of North Carolina.”

Here is the full statement:

“The people of North Carolina spoke clearly when we added voter ID to the state constitution: We’ve had enough chaos and doubt in our elections. Activist Democrat judges must stop this cycle of last-minute changes that erode faith in the democratic process.

We hope Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper’s Election Board will uphold their oaths to the Constitution and laws of North Carolina and oppose this federal judge’s ruling.”

Lt. Govenor Dan Forest

According to the federal court, the law will be blocked until lawsuits filed by the state NAACP and others are resolved.

A representative from the Pitt County chapter of the NAACP spoke with 9 On Your Side about the lawsuit and his opinion on the blocking of the law.

“We feel this is a step in the right direction,” said Calvin Henderson, the president of the Pitt County NAACP Chapter. “We feel, just as the judge has stated, that it’s because of an effort to continue to suppress the black vote.”

Henderson believes part of the reason North Carolina voters voted on the law to be passed in 2018 is due to a lack of education on the matter.

“A lot of people really didn’t know what they were voting for,” said Henderson. “I really feel that many many people were caught off guard and many of them voted without a knowledge of what this voter ID bill was about.”

He says the organization is working to educate citizens about the Voter ID law and that they will continue to fight.

“This is just a tool, a decision that encourages us that we got to work harder,” said Henderson.

9 On Your Side asked for your opinions on social media and here’s what some viewers had to say about the law being blocked.

Alayne Yopp Santiago says: “NC residents made it abundantly clear that they want voter ID to be mandatory for our state. She needs to overturn this immediately. Respect our votes and listen to the people.”

Laine Estep says: “Totally agree with this decision! The only reason it was implemented in the first place was in an attempt to keep people of color from voting! They should be making it EASIER to vote, not harder.”

Bud Newkirk says: “I strongly disagree with striking down what the people voted in. Voter ID should be mandatory!”

It’s likely that NC residents will likely be able to vote without showing an ID in the March primary election, but it has yet to be determined if the law will be in effect for the general election in November.

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