NC NAACP Petitions Court to Stop Voter ID Law Before 2020 Elections

By Cash Michaels

November 22, 2019 2:53PM
Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels

The NC NAACP has gone back to federal court in a motion filed November 15th, defending its original motion for a preliminary injunction against Senate Bill 824 - AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REQUIRING PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE.

The goal - to ultimately stop implementation the law before the March 2020 NC primaries, and the November 2020 elections.

In the motion filed against Governor Roy Cooper (but directed primarily at Republican legislative leaders in the NC General Assembly) in the US District Court for the Middle District, the state NAACP called SB824, “the product of racially discriminatory intent by the majority party in the North Carolina General Assembly, which sought to preserve its legislative advantage by deterring Black and Latino voters, who tend to support the other party, from voting….” the motion contends.

“The record further demonstrates that Blacks and Latinos disproportionately lack the photo identification needed to vote under 824

And that the law therefore imposes additional and unnecessary burdens that both hinder and prevents them from casting ballots,” the NCNAACP motion for preliminary injunction continued.

“For these reasons, SB824 violates both the [1965] Voting Rights Act and the [U.S.] Constitution.”

The motion counters defendants’ arguments for justifying the voter ID law, which was authorized in 2018 when North Carolina voters passed a constitutional amendment requiring that a such a measure be passed.

“Defendants speculate that the availability of free ID cards and the Reasonable Impediment Declaration (“RID”) eliminate the demonstrable disparate impact that SB824 imposes on Black and Latino voters.”

The NCNAACP, however, says that evidence shows that such actions “…would not have any material impact on the disparate numbers of Black and Latino voters who lack qualifying ID….and critically, add to the burdens minority voters face in casting their ballots, thereby abridging their right to vote in that manner.”

“For the reasons set forth above….,” the motion states at its conclusion, “… Plaintiffs request that this Court enter a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the provisions of SB 824 that impose voter-identification requirements, that expand the number of poll observers, and that loosen eligibility requirement for people who can challenge ballots in the March 2020 elections pending the outcome of a trial on the merits of plaintiffs’ claims.”