State NAACP: North Carolina's voter ID law isn't about 'safeguarding' against fraud

Greensboro News & Record,  August 20, 2019

"The president of the state NAACP says North Carolina's "recycled discriminatory photo ID requirement" against minorities appears to be working.

On Tuesday, surrounded by NAACP chapter presidents from around the state, the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman said the civil rights organization has heard from minorities who say they're afraid they won't be able to vote under a retooled voter identification requirement scheduled to go into effect in 2020.

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Officials with the North Carolina Board of Elections have said that no one will be turned away from the polls or told they can't vote if they don't have a photo ID.

Still, voter ID laws have historically suppressed and disenfranchised minority voters, particularly African-Americans who were born during the Jim Crow era and may not have received birth certificates.

In North Carolina, the question of whether such a law is necessary has been hotly debated for years on the floor of the General Assembly and in the courts, with neither Democrats or Republicans ceding ground.

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Tuesday's press conference was a reminder that there's still opposition to the new law even as the 2020 presidential election looms and North Carolina finds itself once again in the role of a battleground state.

Spearman said the new law will be ineffectual against voter fraud.

"It has nothing to do with the reliability of voting machines, safeguarding voter data or protections against foreign interference," he said."

By Nancy Mclaughlin

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