A federal judge struck down Wisconsin's voter ID law today saying that requiring a photo ID presents an unfair hardship to minorities and the poor who wish to vote. The article suggested this could be good news for North Carolina.
Adelman's decision invalidates Wisconsin's law and could set a precedent for similar legal challenges in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere. At least 14 states require voters to show photo ID, and legislation in dozens of other states includes proposals to either introduce new voter ID laws or strengthen existing ones.
North Carolina is being sued by the federal government over its voter suppression laws. In September 2013, the Justice Department announced that it was suing the state over four specific parts of the law.
Federal authorities are challenging four parts of the state law, passed soon after the Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act in June. Those provisions include: the state's decision to cut back on early voting by a week; the elimination of same-day registration during that early voting period; the prohibition on counting certain provisional ballots that are not prepared in a voter's specific precinct; and the adoption of a strict photo identification requirement without protections for voters who lack that required ID.
The League of Women Voters and other organizations have filed suit in state court as have several individuals. Among those challenging the law is Alberta Currie.
One of the plaintiffs, Alberta Currie, is the Great-Granddaughter of slaves. She, her parents and her children all worked picking cotton and tobacco in the fields of Robeson County NC. She is the mother of seven, 78 years old and does not have a birth certificate because she was born at home. She has voted consistently since she first became eligible to vote in 1956. She does not have a photo ID and cannot obtain one in North Carolina without a birth certificate. She and her family consider it a matter of personal dignity to be able to go in person and vote. According to Alberta Currie, “my mother always told me not to miss a voting day. If I can’t vote in person like everyone else it wouldn’t feel fair; it would seem like my vote didn’t count.”
I'm not sure what the next step is in the court challenges, but we can work hard to eat into the Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature and we can replace McCrory with a Democrat in 2016. We win back the governor's office, and we win back control of the boards of election.