Attorneys say NC’s new voting law will harm blacks in November election

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Attorneys representing the U.S. Department of Justice and the state NAACP argued in U.S. District Court this morning that North Carolina’s new voting law would cause irreparable harm to black voters, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Black voters use many of the provisions targeted in the new law — early voting, same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting — at higher rates than whites, they argued. Not only that, those provisions that are being either reduced or eliminated were established to counter the long history in North Carolina of discriminating against blacks trying to vote, said Daniel Donovan, an attorney representing the state NAACP.


The U.S. Department of Justice, the state NAACP, the League of Women Voters and other groups are seeking a preliminary injunction against the new law, known as the Voter Information Verification Act and referred to in hearings as House Bill 589, from taking effect during the Nov. 4 general election.

Under the new law, the number of days for early voting is reduced from 17 to 10; same-day voter registration is eliminated; and ballots cast by voters in the correct county but wrong precinct can no longer be counted. The new law also gets rid of pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, increases the number of poll observers that are assigned by political party and allows a registered voter in a county to challenge the right of another person to vote.

Critics have alleged that Republican legislators hastily passed the law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was unconstitutional, thus weakening Section 5 that required federal approval for voting changes in specific states and communities.

One of the allegations is that the law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as well as the 14th, 15th and 26th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder asked a number of questions about what kind of precedent he might be setting if he ruled in favor of the preliminary injunction. He asked specifically whether other states could be vulnerable to legal challenges simply because those states either took away something like early voting or never offered it in the first place because that change might disproportionately affect black voters.

Donovan said that states develop their election systems in different ways. He said Schroeder should look at the particular circumstances surrounding North Carolina, including the history of voting discrimination and the specific ways in which the new voting law was passed.

Schroeder also said he is particularly interested in evidence that would show how blacks would be harmed if the law is allowed to stay in place for the November election. He asked several questions about the May primary, in which people voted with many of the provisions of the new law in place.

Donovan said that it would be unfair to compare the May primary with what might happen in November because primaries tend to have much lower voter turnout. There will likely be higher voter turnout in November, partly because of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, the current speaker of the N.C. House and one of the main architects of the new voting law.

Schroeder has said that he will have to leave at 3 p.m. today. It’s unclear whether the arguments will finish by then. If not, then the case would continue Monday.


  • Shane

    Voting or anything else shouldn’t be about black or white or anything else. Get your I.D. and go vote. It’s as simple as that.

  • Chucky

    I don’t buy it… are they expecting us to believe that white people don’t vote early? LOL Get the FREE I.D.’s. It is FREE and you should have I.D. on you anyway.

  • Bart

    If any of my grandkids (4 races/cultures involved) try to tell me they can’t vote because of their race, they will finally see Grandpa come after them with a belt.

  • NCMale

    EVERYTHING has to be about race……….this will hurt this race…..this will hurt that race…….RACE is the one word that will infuse energy into ANYTHING……and that is EXACTLY why the new voter laws are being made out to be harmful to blacks…….even though it’s not harmful to ANYONE. Having to have an ID to cast your vote is just plain common sense. These same individuals that these laws are said to harm are the same individuals that have to produce proper ID to drink, to drive a car, to purchase cigarettes, to get certain medications, withdraw money from a bank, and in some instances to get government assistance.

    The real issue here is that this uproar is nothing more than a stunt to promote ones individual popularity…namely William Barbour.

    I want someone, ANYONE to tell me just exactly how this law will harm black and hispanic voters…..but before someone cries “it’s a constitutional right to vote” it’s also a constitutional right to keep and bear arms” and a constitutional right to “free speech” which both are trying to be vanquished by the liberal left…..the same group that is crying foul about the voter ID law,

    Anyone who has a viable answer PLEASE speak up

    • Kill The Poor

      It’s about devide and conquer you dumb redneck. Race, religion, “rights”, guns, income, jobs, privacy, ect, are all used to keep the dumb uninformed public constantly fighting. While the criminals YOU “elect” keep THEIR jobs, THEIR healthcare, THEIR security, and THEIR jobs. Do you honestly think Thom ot Pat give a shit about you? Really? Do you really think that they (or your do nothing congress/president [both past and current]) are slaving away to make a better NC or America, while taking constant vacations and recesses? The TWO party system is the biggest threat to America as they constantly put their self interests (and the interests of big business/lobbysts that own them) ahead of the American people, as they BOTH sell this country to the highest bidder. Why do you think more voters are registering as “unaffiliated” in NC while the number of registered Democrats AND Republicans has been dropping? Or why this president AND Congress have some of the highest dissaproval ratings in history? More people are being turned off to the two party political game and realising their vote means nothing when elections are bought and paid for by special interests. But you can keep being belligerent, spewing “lib” this and “commie” that if it makes you feel better. It’s proof that the AmericansForProsperity propaganda machine is working 100%. They live YOU sleep.

  • NCMale

    The TRUTH comes out……..the LIBS are scared Kay Hagan will lose her seat to Tillis. There is ALWAYS an ulterior motive when it comes to the actions of liberals….ALWAYS. 9 times out of 10 the race card will be involved.

  • impeach obama!!!

    This is why obama is in office because 90% of blacks voted simply on race! obama is the worst thing that has ever happened to this country and should be impeached but of course that would be racist! Good bless us all!

Comments are closed.