Republicans in North Carolina Are Accused of Election Fraud—but Not the Kind Voter ID Laws Can Stop

Pacific Standard,  February 24, 2019

For at least the last six years, Republicans in North Carolina have been on the lookout for instances of voter fraud—the kind of fraud that would justify the state's strict voter ID laws, which some advocates claim have more to do with voter suppression than election integrity. Now, the state's 9th congressional district has become the center of what the New York Times called one of the "highest-profile examples of modern election fraud." But there's a problem for state Republicans: The current scandal has nothing to do with voter fraud. ...

In 2013, North Carolina's original voter ID law was challenged in court for suppressing voting among African-American voters. Though the state mounted a defense, after three years of litigation, in 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that "the State has failed to identify even a single individual who has ever been charged with committing in-person voter fraud in North Carolina." The court struck down the law, arguing that it targeted African-American voters "with almost surgical precision."

Though Ebenstein [ACLU senior staff attorney] says one would be hard-pressed to find instances of voter fraud changing the outcome of an election, election fraud is another story: "What you have in North Carolina now is election fraud, which is a candidate or their operatives violating the law in an attempt to disenfranchise voters and turn the tide of the election," she says.

By Jack Herrera

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