An extraordinary thing happened three weeks ago when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit threw out most of the massive voter suppression law passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
The court found that legislative leaders asked for data broken down by race about how people vote and then as the court put it, with “surgical precision” changed the voting methods used disproportionately by African-Americans.
The motives could not have been clearer.
The General Assembly leadership created a photo ID requirement, ended same day registration at early voting sites, ended pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds, and shortened early voting by a week—all to make it less likely that African-Americans would vote.
Voting rights advocates understandably celebrated the decision to invalidate much of the law as a landmark victory and it was. And it came after similar rulings in other parts of the country. The tide on voter suppression was turning back toward democracy.
But now something else extraordinary is happening across North Carolina. The Republican majorities on local boards of elections are doing their best to thwart the court’s ruling and follow the lead of the General Assembly.
Each county board determines the times that early voting sites are open and where the early voting sites are located. And many of the boards are now refusing to locate sites in African-American neighborhoods or on college campuses.
Posted by Libergirl