A federal judge in Winston-Salem ruled Monday night that North Carolina’s sweeping election overhaul is constitutional. The U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP and others sued over the 2013 law, calling it one of the most restrictive in the nation. WFAE’s Michael Tomsic joined Marshall Terry to walk through the decision.
Let’s start with voter ID. What did the judge rule on that?
Judge Thomas Schroeder said that even though there’s very little evidence of voting fraud, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that trying to reduce it is fair game for a state. He points out that North Carolina allows a variety of excuses not to have an ID, and that a federal court upheld a virtually identical photo ID law in South Carolina.
So the ID provision stands here as well. But North Carolina’s overhaul went well beyond ID. What about the other changes?
They all stand. The U.S. Justice Department had argued they were discriminatory. That’s because African-Americans disproportionately used early voting, same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting, which were all reduced or eliminated in the overhaul.