With the Supreme Court poised to take up the case of North Carolina’s new voting restrictions, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature is moving ahead with an effort to stop the law’s repeal.
The measure, SB 1062, would require voters to show identification at the polls, make it easier for voters to get absentee ballots and increase penalties for non-compliance.
The North Carolina Democratic Party and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief in support of the law, saying that voter identification requirements have no connection to the problems faced by African Americans and Hispanics in the state.
In a statement issued Monday, the ACLU said, “The Supreme Court ruling that struck down the discriminatory laws in Shelby County, Alabama, is an affirmation that voting is fundamental to the democracy that makes this country what it is.”
In response to the Shelby ruling, Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed into law the North Carolina Voter ID Act in June, requiring people to show a photo ID in order to vote in the 2016 general election.
The law’s passage came after several years of complaints from Democrats, many of whom claimed it was discriminatory.
On Monday, a panel of the North Dakota Supreme Court, led by Justice John McTiernan, issued a ruling that rejected those claims, saying the state does not have a right to impose a voter ID requirement because it did not enact the law as part of a broader voter suppression campaign.
“Voter ID laws do not serve any legitimate purpose other than to suppress the voting of African Americans, Hispanics, and young voters,” the ruling said.
“In short, the Voting Access Act does not require any of these groups to obtain photo ID to vote.”
McCrories signature law also prevents North Dakota voters from registering to vote online or in person, while also requiring all eligible North Dakotans to present photo ID at the poll.
In North Dakota, all voters must present a valid photo ID for every vote cast.
“This is a clear attempt by the legislature to make it harder for people to vote,” ACLU of North Dakota Executive Director Josh Hawley said in a statement.
“It also gives them the power to disenfranchise citizens of North Dakota, and we’ll continue to fight to make sure the legislature does not abuse its power to prevent people from voting.”
In March, the Supreme U. S. Court struck down parts of the VRA in Shelby, Alabama.
North Carolina has appealed that ruling to the U,S.
Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.