Voter ID Law Blocked in North Carolina Before March 3rd Primary
No law is really law in the Tarheel State until it’s been ruled on by at least three judges. Or so it seems. This time, it’s the state’s latest version of a voter ID law that has been blocked from implementation.
North Carolina’s Court of Appeals on Tuesday blocked the state’s new voter ID law from taking effect, a move that will likely prevent it from being in place in time for the 2020 elections.
The ruling, coming two weeks before the Tarheel State holds its presidential primaries on March 3, is a victory for civil rights groups and advocates who have argued the law would disenfranchise poor and minority voters. A separate ruling in federal court has already issued a block of the voter ID law through the state’s primaries, and Tuesday’s decision all but ensures a block through the general election in November until another ruling.
In Tuesday’s decision, the court said voter ID provisions “likely will have a negative impact on African Americans because they lack acceptable IDs at a greater rate than white voters.”
The North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley called the voter ID ruling “ridiculous” and said the opinion was “invalidating the votes of more than 2 million North Carolinians who voted for a constitutional amendment in 2018.”
“The opinion, issued by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, ignores the fact that more than 30 other states have enacted similar laws which have been upheld by federal courts,” Whatley said in a statement on Tuesday. “An overwhelming percentage of North Carolinians of every demographic support voter ID and we are very disappointed to see a panel made up of three Democratic judges overturning their votes by judicial fiat.”