… and our GOP Governor Pat McCrory is understandably furious, calling the lawsuit the DOJ is filing politically motivated:
WASHINGTON — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory blasted back Monday at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Justice Department challenging North Carolina’s tough new elections law.
The lawsuit, which was filed Monday afternoon, is the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight back against a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed Southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections.
North Carolina’s new law, which was adopted last month, scales back the period for early voting and imposes stringent voter identification requirements.
“I believe the federal government action is an overreach and without merit,” McCrory said at a news conference. “I think it’s obviously influenced by national politics since the Justice Department ignores similar laws in other (Democratic-leaning) blue states.”
“(This) action is about far more than unwarranted voter restrictions; it’s really about our democracy and who we are as a nation,” Holder said at a news conference, adding the the lawsuit was being filed “more in sorrow than in anger.
“The state legislature took extreme aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” Holder said. “This is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working, and it defies common sense.”
Republican legislative leaders criticized the lawsuit, calling Holder’s statements “baseless claims” designed to “quash the will of (North Carolina) voters.”
“The law was designed to improve consistency, clarity and uniformity at the polls and it brings North Carolina’s election system in line with a majority of other states. We are confident it protects the right of all voters, as required by the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions,” House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement.
Make no mistake about it: What Holder is saying here is that the NC General Assembly – with a super-majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate – intentionally passed a bill they “knew” would disenfranchise minority voters He’s not playing softball. He’s playing hardball, as Democrats typically do on matters they perceive to be about race, because they know they can’t win the any debate, in particular the Voter ID debate, without using sheer and blatant emotional manipulation of so-called “victims”, because nine times out of ten the facts aren’t on their side.
Traditionally blue states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut don’t allow either early voting or no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states allowing neither include Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Minnesota, which doesn’t have early voting, will offer no-excuse absentee voting next year for the first time.
Republicans who proposed the election law changes took heat from Democrats when H.B. 589 cut the number of early voting days from 17 to 10.
The length of early voting varies from state to state. Vermont’s early voting begins 45 days before an election and ends at 5 p.m. the day before an election. In Iowa and Wyoming, early voters can cast ballots 40 days before an election until the day before an election.
Maine allows early voting as soon as absentee ballots are available (30 to 45 days before an election) through Election Day.
Of the states that have early voting, Oklahoma’s is the shortest, beginning the Friday preceding an election and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before an election.
North Carolina Republicans also were criticized for instituting a requirement for voters to produce a state-authorized identity card at polling places. The mandate will be enforced in the 2016 election cycle.
Thirty-three states require some sort of ID before voters can cast a ballot, said Wendy Underhill, senior policy specialist at NCSL. Four — Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, and Tennessee — have strict photo ID requirements, along the lines of H.B. 589.
Eight others — Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin — recently have enacted strict photo ID requirements that have not taken effect.
Those requirements state that voters who do not have an ID at the polls on Election Day may cast a provisional ballot, which would be counted only if the voter can present an authorized ID to an election official within a few days of the election.
While most states allow no-excuse absentee balloting and/or early voting, fewer permit same-day registration — a provision that was repealed in H.B. 589.
One other state, Ohio, allows same-day registration during early voting, Underhill said. Maryland passed legislation this year authorizing same-day early voting registration in 2016.
Eleven states — California, Connecticut, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Hew Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — plus the District of Columbia allow same-day registration on Election Day, Underhill said.
North Carolina had been one of 15 states allowing straight-ticket voting — another provision H.B. 589 eliminates. The others are Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
In reality, the NC Voter ID law puts us more in the mainstream with most other states in America. And the most “controversial” part of it – the mandatory photo ID – requires a spectacular leap in logic to be considered “discriminatory” considering the state will offer FREE IDs to anyone who needs one. Not only that, but they have until 2016 to get them. I know, so RACIST, isn’t it?
As the Governor indicated, this is pure politics, but I’ll take it a step further and call it racial politics. Remember, the DOJ under holder operates under a left wing race-based lens, they ignore real cases (like the Black Panthers voter intimidation) where race was a factor and desperately pursue cases where it was not – the George Zimmerman case being one example, and the DOJ’s outrageous lawsuit against Louisiana’s school voucher program being another.
But don’t tell that to diehard liberals who also view everything through the lens of victimhood. As one Blueprint NC Democrat activist put it, the DOJ “doesn’t file meritless lawsuits”:
— Kevin J. Rogers (@kevinjohnrogers) September 30, 2013
And the dum dums who comprise the crew relentlessly stalking me cheerfully agreed:
— MovingNCForward (@MovingNCForward) September 30, 2013
I didn’t have the heart to ask them if they felt the same way during the Bush years …