Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Washington Post editorial board, which in no way can be mistaken for liberal, condemned North Carolina's "draconian" new voter suppression law today in a damning editorial opinion. North Carolina law takes war on voting rights to a new low:
IN THE wake of the Supreme Court’s
Shelby v. Holder
decision, which gutted significant portions
of the Voting Rights Act, it’s difficult to say which of the many
recently passed voter-suppression bills constitutes the greatest threat
to that most sacred of American freedoms: the right to vote. The contest
has several leading contenders, but the winner just might be North
Carolina’s especially draconian bill, signed into law on Monday.
The bill includes the usual provisions that have come to
characterize the quiet assault on the franchise: a shortened
early-voting period, the elimination of the state’s successful same-day
registration program and, of course, a strict photo identification
requirement despite any evidence of voter fraud in the state.
What makes this law unique is how much further it goes. It includes no fewer than 12 extra provisions
that prohibit such things as counties extending polling hours by one
hour in the event of unusual circumstances (such as, say, long lines);
provisional voting should someone, say, mistakenly go to the wrong
precinct; and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, who could
previously register to vote before they turned 18.
The bill is a
truly abominable piece of anti-democratic legislation, the only likely
effect of which will be to make it increasingly difficult — maybe even
impossible — for some people who don’t typically support Republicans to
be able to vote. Sadly, none of that seemed to bother Gov. Pat McCrory
(R), who signed it into law regardless.
* * *
States do have a valid interest in ensuring that voters are who they
say they are, but the same states that so vehemently defend these laws
typically provide little assistance for those who lack the necessary
documentation. In fact, if defending the franchise were really the
intent, these laws would include positive measures that helped citizens
meet new requirements instead of a laundry list of restrictions
unrelated to a voter’s identity.
Last month, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. vowed to challenge a similar voting law in Texas, even after the Shelby decision.
Let’s hope he does the same with North Carolina’s law. Equal access to
the franchise is a fundamental pillar of American democracy, and it
deserves nothing less than the strongest federal protections.
It is even worse than the Post describes. Rachel Maddow examined how North Carolina intends to defy long-standing U.S. Supreme Court decisions protecting the right of college students to vote where they go to school and, more eggregiously, intends to use the new requirements to not only disqualify citizens from running from political office but to disenfrachise them of their right to vote. Transcript for Thursday, August 15.
This is the kind of civil rights violations for which presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy would have sent the U.S. Marshals Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, and federalized the state National Guard if necesary to enfoce the federal civil rights of U.S. citizens. Are we going to relive our not-too-distant past from the Civil Rights Movement again? Maybe then the smarmy Neo-Confederate "states' rights" Chief Justice John Roberts will have to eat his words that this kind of overt racism is a thing of America's distant past.