Feds Sue Another State Over Its Voter ID Laws

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A Federal lawsuit against North Carolina’s recently approved voter ID law has the State delaying its implementation until a judge decides whether it can begin enforcing the law while the lawsuit is in process.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the State after it passed the law, which requires voters to show a recognized form of photo identification and prohibits same-day voter registration, last year.

Attorney General Eric Holder called North Carolina’s law an “extremely aggressive” attempt to disenfranchise black voters — despite the fact that States that have conducted elections with the new laws in place report a dramatic surge in the number of blacks who participate in elections since the voter ID component was added.

“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” Holder said Monday. “This is an intentional step to break a system that was working and it defies common sense.”

Voter ID laws vary among the 31 States where they’ve survived court challenges and gone into effect, but there’s not a great deal of difference between North Carolina’s voter ID law and the others.

In addition to the photo ID requirement and the same-day registration ban, the law also ends straight-party voting, provides for more poll watchers at local precincts, abolishes the option to donate to political parties on State tax returns and ends the practice of allowing people as young as 16 to “pre-register” to vote.

A May Fox News poll found that 51 percent of black voters support voter ID laws, while 46 percent oppose them.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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