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Civil rights leader Julian Bond calls NC ‘the New Mississippi’

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Civil rights leader Julian Bond (left) and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Civil rights leader Julian Bond is calling North Carolina “the new Mississippi” because of recently signed changes to the voting process.

“North Carolina has become the new Mississippi,” Bond told an interviewer Friday night on Political Capital with Al Hunt on Bloomberg TV.

Bond said the state has taken an enormous step backward in voting rights with the domination of Republicans in the House, Senate and governor’s chair.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed the controversial elections bill into law on Aug. 12.

The bill will require voters to present a government-issued photo identification at the polls, shorten the early voting period by a week, eliminate same-day voter registration, eliminate straight-party ticket voting and eliminate a program encouraging high school students to register to vote before turning 18.

The bill will start taking effect this fall and continue through 2014 and beyond. The changes concerning photo ID take effect in 2016.

McCrory argued that most states already have voter ID laws and admonished elements on the “extreme left” for using “scare tactics.”

“Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” McCrory said in a statement.

Bond is a former chairman of the national NAACP and a former Georgia legislator.