“Such a choice speaks more of an intention to target African American voters rather than a desire to comply with the newly created Amendment in a fair and balanced manner. Defendants have yet to show [the law] would have been enacted in its current form irrespective of any alleged underlying discriminatory intent.”
A second court has temporarily blocked North Carolina’s new voter identification law on the argument that it discriminates against African Americans. The ruling reduces the likelihood that the rule will be in effect in a key swing state during November’s elections.
A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that intent to discriminate was a “primary motivating factor” behind the voter ID law, which passed the Republican legislature in late 2018. Triggered by a ballot measure, the law requires voters to produce an acceptable form of photo ID before casting a ballot but excludes types of identification disproportionately held by African Americans.
The ruling is a significant victory for Democrats and civil rights groups, which had hoped to derail the law before voters go to the polls Nov. 3. With its 15 electoral votes, the state will be a pivotal battleground in the presidential election; North Carolina backed President Trump in 2016 by a small margin of 173,315 votes.
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“Democrats know democracy works best when we break down barriers to the ballot box,” the North Carolina Democratic Party said in a statement. “That’s why we’re glad that a second court has struck down the GOP’s discriminatory Voter ID law — and we promise to keep fighting until everyone can vote freely & fairly.”