Federal judge upholds North Carolina voter ID law

A federal judge has upheld the North Carolina voter ID law, saying there was no evidence that minorities would be harmed and that challengers of the law "have not established that … African Americans or Hispanics have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”

Wall Street Journal:

Republican state lawmakers passed the voting restrictions shortly after a 2013 Supreme Court ruling upended a long-standing piece of the Voting Rights Act that required a group of states, mostly in the South, to obtain approval before changing electoral practices because of their history of discrimination.

Critics said there was no actual evidence of voter fraud and the real motivation for the rules was to make it harder for voters that lean Democratic to cast a ballot. The state says it has appropriate voting safeguards in place and argued there was no evidence that the photo-ID requirement would burden voters.

The voter-id requirement went into effect this year and was used for the state’s primary on March 15.

Among other voting changes, North Carolina eliminated same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting and reduced the number of days in which citizens could vote early.

Judge Schroeder said the voter-id requirement contained ample exceptions that would prevent burdens on voters. He also said the state, even with the more restrictive voting rules, had many convenient registration and voting mechanisms in place. “There are simply very many easy ways for North Carolinians to register and vote,” he wrote.

Most North Carolina voters now need to show identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or military or veterans identification card. Some types of identification, like student IDs, aren’t accepted. There are exceptions to the law for people who declare they have reasonable impediment that prevents them from obtaining an acceptable photo ID.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, said, “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and thankfully a federal court has ensured our citizens will have the same protection for their basic right to vote.”

McCrory makes a point that is lost on those who scream about disenfranchising minority voters: a voter ID is required for many reasons in daily life.  You can't cash a government check in most places without ID, for example.  Showing proof of age is required for many reasons, and that also involves a valid photo ID.

Is there no proof of voter fraud?  There wouldn't be if illegals were using fake ID to vote.  And given the poor record-keeping in many states where voter rolls are swollen with the dead, having a valid photo ID is just common sense.

There are going to be other challenges, but Judge Schroeder appears to have firmly shut the door on many arguments used by those who challenge the law.

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