Today, NC NAACP Will Point to Enduring Discriminatory Impact of Voter ID in Hearing with Federal Judge

"WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Today, lawyers representing the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP will argue that their challenge to the photo ID requirement included in the state’s massive voter suppression law, H.B. 589, should have its day in court. Just weeks before the July trial challenging H.B. 589, the legislature modified the ID requirement, which resulted in its tabling from the trial. Attorneys with the national racial justice organization, Advancement Project, joined with co-counsel Kirkland & Ellis LP and lawyers Adam Stein and Irving Joiner, will argue that despite the legislature’s last-minute attempt to modify the regulation, the court should not dismiss the NAACP’s challenge to North Carolina’s photo ID requirement because it continues to disparately impact voters of color – a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. Advancement Project released the following statement in anticipation of today’s hearing:

“North Carolina’s voter ID requirement remains an undue and unlawful burden on voters of color,” said North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “The legislature’s desperate attempt to mask the discrimination embedded in this law by altering – yet not removing – the photo identification requirement on the eve of our trial shows that they knew it would not stand up to the word of law. It still does not. The facts are clear that photo ID requirements disproportionately harm African American & Latino voters in North Carolina, and beyond. We should have the opportunity to make that case, and we stand in firm opposition of this modern day form of Jim Crow suppression.”

“Any practice that results in African Americans and Latinos having less access to the vote than other members of the electorate is a violation of the Voting Rights Act,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “North Carolina’s voter ID requirement does just that. Just as poll taxes and literacy tests are illegal under Section 2 because they make it disproportionately harder for voters of color to participate, and sometimes impossible, photo ID requirements create unfair barriers to voters of color, who are less likely to have one of the forms of required ID and will continue to face disproportionate burdens even under amendments to the law, which we do not know how the state will implement or educate voters about. This is a violation not only of our laws, but also of our nation’s morals. Our democracy should be free, fair and accessible to all. Today, and all days, we should not settle for less.”

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