After the U.S. Justice Department sued North Carolina over its voter ID law on Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder reiterated that he felt the state’s law requiring photo identification to vote was intended to and will discriminate against blacks.
“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,” Holder said on Monday, according to The Hill.
Holder is seeking to force North Carolina to be subjected to “pre-clearance” for all future voting-related changes. The Supreme Court ruled this year that states that were subject to pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act of 1965 because of past histories of voting discrimination were freed from though it did not rule it to be unconstitutional. Instead, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, said Congress could impose such requirements only if they were based on modern data instead of the outdated data from the 1960s.
Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed the law this year after it was passed by the Republican state legislature.
“Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote,” McCrory said when he signed the law. “While some will try to make this seem to be controversial, the simple reality is that requiring voters to provide a photo ID when they vote is a common-sense idea.”
Holder argued that the concerns Republicans have about voting fraud were “not real” and emphasized that he felt that North Carolina’s laws were intended to discriminate against blacks, saying he would prove the laws are “discriminatory, both in intent and impact.”
“Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation,” Holder said.
The law eliminates same-day registration, mandates photo IDs to vote, eliminates the number of early-voting days from 17 to 10, and invalidates provisional ballots that are cast in the wrong precinct.