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Supreme Court rejects North Carolina Voter ID law appeal – Controversial law was struck down last year

Information courtesy of CNN, ABC News, NPR, the Washington Post, and the LA Times

The Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court decision striking down North Carolina’s voter ID law. The controversial law was struck down last summer in a decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that the law unfairly targeted African-American voters.

In addition to photo identification requirements, the law reduced the number of early voting days and prohibited same-day registration during the early voting period, both voting options used more frequently by minority voters. According to Mecklenburg County Republican Party Chair, Claire Mahoney, the reasons for reducing early voting included giving candidates more time to campaign, and early voting sites not having sufficient staff to prevent fraud.

According to Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court’s rejection of the appeal was not due to the law’s lack of merit. Rather, the rejection was related to political uncertainty over who is permitted to seek review of the lower court’s decision under North Carolina law. The appeal had first been filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor. Later, Democrat Governor Roy Cooper tried to withdraw it, lawyers for the North Carolina General Assembly asked the Court to move forward.

In 2013, when the law was passed, North Carolina Republicans held that requiring photo identification would protect against voter fraud. The issue of voter fraud will be examined at the federal level by a new presidential commission. President Trump has issued an executive order creating the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which will be led by Vice President Mike Pence. The commission will research fraud in voter registration and casting votes, and submit their findings in a report to the president.

Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, has been tracking allegations of voter fraud since 2000. After examining allegations from around the country, he was able to find 31 incidents of fraud that could have been prevented with photo ID, out of over one billion ballots cast.

Doug Schmidt
Act Team Coordinator
The Fifth Freedom Network

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