A federal judge has upheld North Carolina’s sweeping voter ID law in a ruling posted late Monday evening.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder issued a sprawling 485-page ruling dismissing all claims in the challenge to the state’s sweeping 2013 election law overhaul. Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, also upheld portions of the 2013 law that cut the number of days people could vote early, eliminated same-day registration and voting and prohibits people from casting a ballot outside their precinct. Schroeder left same-day registration and out-of-precinct provisional voting in effect for North Carolina’s upcoming June 7 Primary.
Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina told the Raleigh News and Observer that he was not surprised by Schroeder’s ruling.
“He ruled as long expected; he just took 485 pages to do so,” Hall said. “In one telling section, he concludes, ‘There is significant, shameful past discrimination. In North Carolina’s recent history, however, certainly for the last quarter century, there is little official discrimination to consider.’ Hopefully, other judges will take off the rose-colored glasses and look at the facts and law with more care.”
Democracy North Carolina just released a report on Friday about how valuable same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting were as back-up provisions that saved more than 29,000 voters in the March 2016 primary.
Plaintiffs are expected to appeal the April 25th ruling, which could have a major impact on North Carolina’s November General Election.
“Same-day registration is a valuable safety net that rescues voters from human error and deficiencies at DMV and other agencies. It will harm citizens of all ages, races and parties if same-day registration is eliminated, but it will especially hurt lower income and younger voters who tend to move from place to place,” said Hall. “So much attention has been given to the impact of the voter ID law, but the loss of the two safety-net provisions will likely have a bigger impact on more individual voters and on the outcome of North Carolina elections.”