North Carolina to seek Supreme Court stay of voter ID law

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 6 (UPI) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said his state will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and reinstate a voter identification law that was struck down by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the law discriminated against minorities.

After overturning the North Carolina law, which requires voters to show a form of state-issued photo identification before voting and also cuts down on the amount of time allowed for early voting, the Fourth Circuit also refused to stay its order pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

McCrory said the appeals court changing election law only months before the 2016 election will cause confusion.

“Changing our state’s election laws close to the upcoming election, including common sense voter ID, will create confusion for voters and poll workers,:” McCrory said in a statement. “The court should have stayed their ruling, which is legally flawed, factually wrong, and disparaging to our state. Therefore, by early next week, we will be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the ruling of the Court of Appeals.”

The Fourth Circuit was one of several appeals courts that have struck down voter ID laws in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that eliminated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which required Southern states with a history of racial discrimination to pre-clear changes to election laws with the Justice Department. In the wake of that decision, several states have passed laws requiring voters to present state-issued IDs or passports in order to gain access to the ballot box.

Supporters argue the laws will cut down on election fraud and prevent undocumented individuals from voting in U.S. elections. Opponents have pointed out there is scant evidence of widespread fraud that requires new legislation be passed. Additionally, minorities and poor people are decidedly more likely to lack the qualifying ID required by the law. Additionally, poor people face additional hurdles to voting on Election Day, such as lacking transportation, child care and longer work hours, meaning they rely more heavily on early voting, which the North Carolina law curtails.

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