North Carolina Legislature Passes Nation’s Strictest Voter Suppression Law
League Urges Governor to Veto the Bill; Calls on Department of Justice to Take Action
Statement by League of Women Voters of North Carolina President Jo Nicholas:
“Last night the North Carolina Legislature passed an omnibus voter suppression bill (HB 589). We urge Governor McCrory to veto this malicious legislation and protect all voters in North Carolina from the severe consequences of HB 589. Should this bill become law it will damage the very foundation of our great democracy. Among other harmful actions, this bill would impose a strict voter photo ID requirement, eliminate same day registration, shorten the early voting period by a week, eliminate pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds, and purge the voter rolls more often.
“There is no stronger example of the need for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) than the actions of our state legislature last night. They have brought shame upon our great state and put their own personal political gain above the democratic process that is the foundation of our way of governing. Until this month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, nearly half the state was subject to the VRA’s Section 5 pre-approval. Today, the need for this pre-approval could not be more self-evident.
“The League of Women Voters of North Carolina along with our coalition partners will do everything in our power to protect our democracy and ensure that all citizens have access to free and fair elections. We call on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to use all means at their disposal to see that this legislation gets swept into the dustbin of history where it belongs.”
“Elections are the one time when all citizens– rich or poor, young or old, black or white – have an equal say in our great democracy. This legislation erases that equality and is an attack that will severely limit options for all eligible NC voters, especially the poor, the elderly and racial minorities. Our state governments should be in the business of making it easier for citizens to vote, not adding costly restrictions and hassles that will negatively impact our great democracy.”