Federal judge blocks North Carolina's voter ID law, citing its discriminatory intent

The Guardian,  January 1, 2020

This iteration of the North Carolina law required voters to present one of 10 forms of acceptable identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, or military ID in order to vote. But [US district judge Loretta] Biggs noted that minority voters in the state were less likely to possess an acceptable form of ID. She also noted that African American voters were more likely to have public assistance and military IDs – both of which were not considered an acceptable form of voter ID under the law. ...

Biggs also appeared unconvinced that certain provisions in the law would mitigate the impact on black voters. While the law provides free ID to anyone who cannot afford one, she noted that those who need ID might not be able to spare the time to travel to the DMV to get one, even if it was free. She also wrote that a provision allowing people to vote if they swore they could not get ID could lead to confusion among poll workers.

In addition to blocking the voter ID measure on Tuesday, Biggs also stopped a provision in the law that allowed poll watchers to challenge someone’s ballot if they did not have acceptable photo ID. She ordered state election officials to publicize that voter ID would not be needed to vote in the state until she issued a further ruling.

By Sam Levine

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