North Carolina asks U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate voter ID law

Chris Keane / —Reuters
An election worker checks a voter's driver’s license.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, North Carolina asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow a state law requiring voters to show identification to remain in effect for the Nov. 8 U.S. election while the state appeals a lower court ruling that said the measure discriminates against minority voters.With less than three months until the November election, lawyers for Republican Governor Pat McCrory said the status quo should be maintained, citing court precedent in their favor. The law was enacted in 2013 and also reduced the number of early voting days while keeping the same number of early voting hours.”Today we have asked Chief Justice John Roberts to stay the Fourth Circuit’s ruling and reinstate North Carolina’s Voter ID law,” said Governor McCrory. “This common sense law was upheld by the U.S. District Court. Our Voter ID law has been cited as a model and other states are using similar laws without challenges. “Allowing the Fourth Circuit’s ruling to stand creates confusion among voters and poll workers and it disregards our successful rollout of Voter ID in the 2016 primary elections. The Fourth Circuit’s ruling is just plain wrong and we cannot allow it to stand. We are confident that the Supreme Court will uphold our state’s law and reverse the Fourth Circuit.”The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 29 that the law intentionally discriminated against minority voters. The same court refused to put its decision on hold for the November election.Critics say such laws make voting harder for minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics, who tend to support Democrats. Backers say that showing identification is standard requirement in cashing a check, boarding a plane, and a variety of activities and voting should be no different. In social media voter ID supporters spread images of a poster requiring a photo ID to pick up credentials to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The state directed its request to Chief Justice John Roberts, who has responsibility for emergency requests arising from the federal appeals court that covers the state. The state is not seeking to restore all provisions of the law that were invalidated, meaning some provisions will not be in effect for the election whatever the high court does.