Gov. Pat McCrory announces the worthiness of North Carolina's new
voter law without noting most of its provisions.
North Carolina's Republican Gov. Pat McCrory took the unorthodox step Monday of announcing his signing of the state's new racist voter suppression law via YouTube
. Within hours, a coalition of civil rights advocacy groups, including the ACLU of North Carolina, took the more traditional approach in filing lawsuits
against the law, arguing that it violates the Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The North Carolina NAACP and Advancement Project filed its own suit
later in the day:
A third lawsuit is expected to be filed in state court Tuesday. Congressman G.K. Butterfield also asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to “take swift and decisive action by using any legal mechanisms” to protect North Carolina’s voting rights.
“With one stroke of the pen, McCrory has effectively reversed 30 years of progress and reinstated practices similar to the discriminatory ‘Southern Strategy’ adopted by the Republican Party in the ’60s and ’70s,” said Butterfield, a former N.C. Supreme Court justice. “Without question, today is a shameful day for Republicans in North Carolina.”
McCrory emphasized the voter-ID portion of the law, which is popular in North Carolina, but didn't mention the other provisions of the law, which are unpopular.
Besides requiring a narrow range of acceptable IDs, the law dumps same-day registration during early voting, cuts a week off the number of early voting days, ends early voting on Sunday (a day traditionally strong for African American voting), eliminates pre-registration of 16 and 17-year olds, eliminates straight party voting, reduces disclosure requirements of corporate campaign donations and gives poll watchers more clout to challenge the eligibility of people who come to the polls.
Despite all the GOP blather about this being a common-sense law, it was designed to reduce voter turnout among constituencies that are more likely to vote Democratic—minorities, the poor and students. From the perspective of doing anything to win, I guess that is common sense.
The latest Public Policy Polling survey shows that just 39 percent of the state's voters back the law, with 50 percent opposed:
White voters only narrowly support the new voting bill (46/44), while African Americans (16/72) are heavily opposed. Republicans (71%) support the bill but Democrats (72%) are just as unified in their opposition and independents are against it by a 49/43 margin as well. And perhaps most foreboding for Republicans, moderate voters stand against the legislation 70/20.
The Republicans in charge of the legislature and ensconced in the governor's mansion didn't, as Kos pointed out
Monday, do this out of strength but rather from weakness because they fear the changing demographics that spells long-term disaster for a party unwilling to change: "And when a political party becomes afraid of the voters, it has lost any moral authority it might've ever claimed."
Please join Daily Kos by urging Congress to save the Voting Rights Act by creating a new preclearance formula.