Challenge heard to NC voter ID law

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A federal hearing is underway in Winston-Salem today over the state's controversial Voter Information Verification Act, commonly known as the "Voter ID" law.

U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder is hearing arguments on whether to block many of the state's voting law provisions from taking effect during the Nov. 4 general election in a case that's being closely watched across North Carolina and throughout the country.

The Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, was among the first at the courthouse this morning.

"This is the worst attempt to abridge and suppress the right to vote that we've seen since the days of Jim Crow," said Barber.

The NAACP has filed three lawsuits against the act. However, they will not be heard until next year. Barber says the suits are not only about requiring voters to have an ID, but also shortening early voting, eliminating same-day registration and doing away with pre-registration for minors.

"You identify a particular group of voters, i.e. African Americans, women and young people, who you believe may not support your extremist views," said Barber, of the state.

Barber called the state's opening argument "weak and disturbing".

"In essence what they're saying is, even if these laws are unconstitutional, because we've already started using them, we should not change," said Barber.

Supporters of the act argue that it is vital to stopping areas of fraud in our voting system.

"We really are not interested in taking away anyone's right to vote. All we're trying to do is preserve the idea of one person, one vote, one time," said Jay DeLancy, director of the Voter Integrity Project. "Anybody could walk in and just vote, and claim an identity and then leave and you'd never know who they were or where they came from."

DeLancy argued that ID's are free and you need them to exercise rights outside of voting.

"You need an ID to go visit your congressman. You need an ID to enter this very courthouse," DeLancy said outside the courthouse.

The NAACP planned a rally at Corpening Plaza starting at 5:30 p.m., calling it the first Moral March to the Polls.

Barber says the event is aimed at "rallying people to engage the right to vote, and to always be steadfast and persistent."


  • j r nance (@rnance1950)

    The Fake Reverend William “Fatso” Barber is at it again, calling the new voter law here in NC Jim Crow laws, he wouldn’t know a Jim Crow Law if it hit him in his face, all he does is try to be like his Hero Al Sharpton, both of them are after money they can put in their pockets form Minorities & Poor People & really don’t care anything about voting because if they did they would support the new law….

    • davecortez

      Typical ignorance. First of all, I would never presume to tell a person from an oppressed group what they do and don’t know about oppression. Second, newsflash: this isn’t about voter fraud. Do some research; conservatives and Republicans have admitted they’re doing this to curb voting by Democrats. And after you research that (if you’re not too lazy like I’m sure you accuse “those people” of being) look up the truth about the almost non-existence of voter fraud to begin with. Your side is losing because of sorry candidates and a sorry agenda. Get over it.

      • Chucky

        Exactly where did you see that anyone “admitted they’re doing this to curb voting by Democrats”? I have not heard anyone admit that nor do I believe that was their motivation. I work the elections and have heard of many instances where dead people have voted or people have attempted if not succeeded in voting in more than one precinct. No one ballot is currently tied to a specific voter so there is no way to omit that vote once the fraud is discovered. Say it all you want but requiring ID will help to reduce voter fraud.

      • drhatcher

        Chucky, apparently you don’t remember Buncombe County Republican Party Precinct Chair Don Yelton, who was fired from that position last October when he told Aasif Mandvi in an interview for “The Daily Show,” “The [Voter I.D.] law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.” Here’s a link to the interview. (Sorry. I forgot to include Yelton’s name the first time I posted this.)

      • Chucky

        @drhatcher And we all know that that one man who clearly has issues, who’s interview was edited and shown on a comedy show, for purposes of making people laugh, was speaking on behalf of all of the republican representatives for NC and was in fact speaking the truth. LOLROF

      • drhatcher

        Chucky, get off the floor and realize that the man was fired because he let the cat out of the bag for revealing Republican secrets.

  • dobydog1

    so mr barber thinks that minorities and young people are too stupid or lazy to get IDS? Does he also believe these people are criminals since that is the only way to earn or recieve an income? but hey just feeding this processed bull food to these people because obviously they are too stupid or lazy to think for themselves.

    • WeBuiltThisCountry

      We are too stupid and lazy? You should go to work tomorrow and tell your spanish and black coworkers exactly how you feel.Stop with all that internet muscle.

      • Doc Bennett

        So I took you up on your offer and low and behold EVERYONE of them saw no problem with showing ID to vote. However there was one white woman from NJ that thought it was awful. She said some people couldn’t afford the state ID. When I told her it was free she back peddled and said then those people couldn’t afford to go to the state Driver’s license office. I gave up then because if we offered to give them a ride she would say they couldn’t afford to expel the energy to walk outside to get in the car.

  • Marcus Powell

    Everyone in the State, including Republicans, knows that this law was passed to reduce voting by minorities, the elderly, and young people. The provisions put in place clearly point to that. Sunday voting, which was used mostly by Black people was targeted, asking for ID clearly hurts the elderly because although the ID may be “free”, the documents that are needed to get an ID are NOT and a lot of elderly people don’t have those documents, and blocking students from voting on college campuses and ending the program that allowed high school seniors that would be of age by election day to preregister clearly are attacks towards young people. There was no voter fraud to stop, so this argument has been proven dead since the beginning. 0.0074% is statistically zero in any numerical theory, so there is no voter fraud to be stopped. This law is going down and when we do remove Republicans from office in the near future things will be put right again. I love this State and we shouldn’t allow the party they claims they’re about liberty, taking away our liberties in front of our eyes. I want a woman to have the liberty to choose whether she will have a child or not, I want to be able to choose if I will vote on Sunday, I want to have the liberty to protest harmful chemicals from being put into my neighborhood, and I want the liberty of KNOWING what those chemicals are from ANYONE that should be REQUIRED to release that information. If the chemicals aren’t dangerous, why all the secrecy? Why should someone go to jail for telling me what these supposedly harmless chemicals are?

  • karl

    What is the problem? Get an ID now, you have until November to get one. I personally don’t know anyone who does not have or can not get some type of state ID, unless they are dead, or are not supposed to be here anyway. You can scream until you’re black and blue, but I just fail to see your side of the argument. As far as early voting goes, you can still vote for over a week before any election date, according to the ncvoterguide website. How much time does one need to vote early? You need ID to do all of this stuff:

    Some are federal, but most are state laws or activities where I live.

    1. Boarding an airplane
    2. Writing a check
    3. Cashing a check
    4. Using a credit card
    5. Driving a motor vehicle
    6. Applying for a business license
    7. Applying for permission to hold a protest or rally
    8. Securing employment
    9. Purchasing a house or real estate
    10. Renting a domicile
    11. Renting a motor vehicle
    12. Purchasing a firearm (Includes BB guns)
    13. Applying for a hunting license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
    14. Applying for a fishing license (waived for 16 and 17 year olds when their legal guardian provides a photo ID)
    15. Purchasing alcoholic beverages
    16. Purchasing tobacco or products that contain nicotine
    17. Purchasing a motor vehicle
    18. Initial registration of a motor vehicle
    19. Applying for a building permit
    20. Receiving prescription medicine
    21. Purchasing OTC medicine that contains pseudoephedrine
    22. Serving on jury duty
    23. Getting a bank account
    24. Cash transactions of $5000.00 or greater
    25. Sales tax exemption for people aged 80 and above

    , but ID is not required to cast your vote? Whatever.

  • drhatcher

    For anyone who thinks that the Voter I.D. is ONLY about having to show an I.D. before voting, take a look at these statistics about North Carolina’s Voter I.D. (HB 589) Law. (All of these statistics were collected from a London GUARDIAN newspaper article dated July 6, 2014.)…None of this will change anyone’s mind, but in the words of Stephen Colbert, “The truth has a well-known liberal bias.”

    • Early voting. HB 589 cuts the number of early voting days from 17 to 10. In 2012, seven out of 10 African Americans who voted did so early – a rate 140% higher than that for white voters.
    • Out-of-precinct ballots. The legislation forces ballots to be discarded where they have been cast outside an individual’s precinct. Black voters are more than twice as likely to cast out-of-precinct ballots than whites, partly because they are less likely to own a car and have greater difficulty travelling to poll stations.
    • Elimination of pre-registration. In previous elections, civil rights groups held drives to pre-register 16- and 17-year-olds so that they would automatically be registered to vote when they turned 18. The drives were particularly successful in encouraging young ethnic minority teenagers to vote. HB 589 prohibits the practice.
    • Same-day registration. The act eliminates the ability of individuals to register to vote on the day of election. In five out of the past six federal elections, African American voters have used SDR at proportionately much higher rates than whites…In the 2012 presidential election black voters made up less than a quarter of the whole electorate but 41% of voters who registered on the day.

  • Doc Bennett

    Oh I see. All these things were put in place to get a higher turn out for the democrats and when the Republicians do the same thing in reverse, now you cry they aren’t playing fair and you sue.
    When the democrats out all those things in place they did it for ONE reason. To STAY IN POWER! So they would have a lesser chance of going to jail like so many democrats in NC have done.

  • drhatcher

    So, Doc, your argument is that two wrongs make a right?…If it was wrong when the Democrats did it, it’s wrong now that the Republicans are doing it…Facts are facts, and this is what’s happening in our state right now…And I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “When the democrats out all those things in place,” but it’s Republicans who have put all of the laws in place that I have listed above…Why didn’t Republicans sue when Democrats were in power if they were restricting Republicans’ voting rights? (They should have if that was the case.)…Your argument reminds me of little kids who say, “Well, he did it first, so I should get to do it, too.”

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