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Holder loses big in North Carolina Voter I.D. case

Holder loses big in North Carolina Voter I.D. case

Eric Holder’s Justice Department will do whatever it takes to prevent the states from protecting their elections.

Last month, the Justice Department asked for an injunction to prevent the state of North Carolina from implementing changes the legislators made to state election law. The lawsuit, first filed in 2013, is backed by the NAACP and the League of Women Voters, and claims that the new law–namely, its strict voter ID requirement–was passed in violation of the 14th, 15th, and 16th Amendments, as well as section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

However, a federal district judge has ruled against the DoJ, which means that North Carolina’s new election laws will be in force for the midterm elections come November.

The court held that, although the DoJ’s lawsuit has merit (meaning that the court can’t justify simply dismissing it,) attorneys for the plaintiffs failed to provide a “clear showing” of entitlement (meaning that they failed to show the court that they would succeed on the merits of their legal claims.) The court also said that, with regards to several of the claims, the plaintiffs had failed to show that they would suffer irreparable harm before trial in the absence of an injunction.

North Carolina’s new election laws contain a complete overhaul of the state’s policies. Although the main point of contention rests with the new voter ID laws, the bill also reforms existing law. From the opinion:

Apart from the voter ID provisions, which were new, the bill largely purported to repeal, amend, or update existing law. Other amendments included:
(1) making it illegal to compensate persons collecting voter registrations based on the number of forms submitted (Part 14);
(2) reducing the number of signatures required to become a candidate in a party primary (Part 22);
(3) deleting obsolete provisions about the 2000 census (Part 27)
(4) changing the order of candidates appearing on the ballot (Part 31);
(5) eliminating straight-ticket voting (Part 32);
(6) moving the date of the North Carolina presidential primary earlier in the year (Part 35);
(7) eliminating taxpayer funding for appellate judicial elections (Part 38);
(8) allowing funeral homes to participate in canceling voter registrations of deceased persons (Part 39); and
(9) requiring provisional ballots to be marked as such for later identification (Part 52).

The bill also proposed mandating that several matters be referred for further study, including requiring the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee to examine whether to maintain the State’s current runoff system in party primaries. (Part 28.)

True to form, the plaintiffs in the case are arguing that the new law is discriminatory, and will prevent African American and other minorities from exercising their right to vote.

Election lawyer J. Christian Adams had this to say about the Justice Department’s case against voter accountability:

The Justice Department actually used your tax dollars to pay for an expert to introduce the turnout-doesn’t-matter-because-life-is-harder argument. Enterprising folks will submit a Freedom of Information request to find out how many tens of thousands of dollars that nonsense costs you.

According to the NCSL, 34 states have passed some sort of voter ID requirement, and 31 of those states have actually been able to put those requirements into effect. Earlier this year, a federal judge struck down similar legislation passed in Wisconsin, and a lack of consensus in the courts suggests that states’ latest efforts to protect the integrity of elections could soon be heading for further scrutiny by the Supreme Court.

If North Carolina loses this fight, it’s possible that the Justice Department will be able to force North Carolina to abandon the new laws entirely, and allow “federal observers” to monitor future elections in North Carolina.

You can read the full decision here.


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I’ve seen stories that the only provision in force for this year’s election was a provision to reduce “extended voting” from 17 days to 10 days.

Since a majority of states only allow part of one day to vote, I find, lacking any action from DOJ to change, that it probably would have been permissible to further reduce beyond 10 days.

    tarheelkate in reply to Neo. | August 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    If you don’t vote early or absentee, on election day you must vote in your own precinct. If you cast a provisional ballot in another precinct it will not be counted. Also, same day registration and voting have been eliminated. These changes are in effect for the fall’s election, as well as the reduction in the number of early voting days. It’s only the photo ID requirement which is delayed until 2016.

    These changes were in effect for the May primary, and minority voting did NOT decline compared to similar primaries.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to tarheelkate. | August 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Note too that during the 2014 election cycle North Carolina election judges are required to ask each voter if they possess a form of ID that is valid for 2016. The voters reflexively pull out wallets as soon as the question is asked.

      There is a box to be checked on the Authorization to Vote forms each voter must sign before being allowed to vote if they say they do no have valid ID. The ATV are a crucial party of the control on ballot security. The number of ballots cast has to equal the number of signed ATV forms.

      The number of voters in the NC primary who said they didn’t have a valid ID was infinitesimal. I believe we had two in our entire county, both super elderly widows whose adult children and grandchildren did most of their banking and shopping.

        tarheelkate in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 12, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        Not sure about your county, but here in Wake County where I am an election judge we were required to ask all voters if they had an ID that would be acceptable in 2016, and if they said no, to ask them to fill out a form so the BOE could get in touch with them. If they declined they could still vote this time and will be able to in November. The ATV signature merely says that the information on the ATV is correct.

        A commenter farther down this thread points out a big change that WILL (I believe) be in effect in November: no straight-ticket voting.

Humphrey's Executor | August 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

I had an elderly widow come to me to get a valid state ID. The process of proving her identity was uch more involved than I expected. (Her situation was complicated by the fact that she had been married twice and therefore, naturally, she went by other names). But she needed a valid state ID just to open a bank account. My point is that people need valid ID for a host of reasons and if the voter ID laws help motivate them to get one, its beneficial.

    How has this “elderly widow” managed to get by for 60 or 70 or more years without ID? As you said, she needs a valid state ID just to open a bank account!

    I bought groceries this morning, paid with a credit card, and had to show my ID to complete the transaction.

      When I lived in the USA and I wanted to pay for my groceries I had to show ID…. as an Australian I did not have the usual form of ID so I used my Australian ID (my driver’s licence). It was always accepted.

      It would seem that the best ID is the SSN so what I do not understand is why the “elderly widow” did not have an SSN to use as ID to open her bank account.

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to Mike45. | August 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      It is rare but still happens, especially in small, closely knit communities. A local store owner knows everyone by name and will cash any checks they receive without ID. The adult children and grandchildren ferry the elderly relative everywhere.

It is too much to hope that next time the Senate will vote against confirming a self-described “activist” as the nation’s AG, and will instead insist on a person who is actually dedicated to — or at least somewhat interested in — the fair and impartial enforcement of the law?

Here in Columbia, SC Joe McCulloch (D) is once again challenging Kirk Findlay III (R) for House district 75. Joe lost by about 700 votes last time around and claimed that “bags of ballots mysteriously appeared from closets and trunks” during the recount. I have repeatedly asked Mr. McCulloch since he feels that he lost due to voting fraud will he then show his support for voter ID laws…..
Joe is something of a joke around these parts, but there is a faction of people that love his fake accent and his bowties and long hair. Memo to Joe: cut your hair, you look like a second rate Jim Manning!

    franciscodanconia in reply to scooterjay. | August 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Findlay always came across as a class act when we crossed paths, when my wife and I lived in Columbia.

    IIRC, he owns the BBQ joint on Shop Rd.

There was a time within my memory when the NAACP would have rented vans to pick up people who needed transport to get an ID, along with people to help the process.

That is, IF there was really any truth to the BS we hear…

    MattMusson in reply to Ragspierre. | August 11, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Now, they just wait until all the voting is finished… lock the door and vote for everyone who did not show up.

    Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | August 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    In South Carolina, the GOP State Chairman offered to personally give any poor old person a ride to get their free ID if it was a hardship. No takers.

    Remember the old lady in North Carolina who said getting a photo ID would be a hardship? She was 93 and in poor health. But no one thought to ask her specifically at the time – and it turns out she already has ID.

    I don’t think they believe they can do more than delay ID laws now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t drag it out to the last.

    There’s another prize in NC, though: straight ticket voting. Without that, a lot of down-ticket Democrats will sink.

Obama is worried about tax inversion and Holder is worried about vote inversion – people leaving their Master’s welfare ‘beneficent’-law-unto-themselves plantations (called Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS for short) in France) for freedom outside the walls of their dystopian ghettos. To maintain the vote he must enslave the people and be master of the voting process.

Bias-led IRS employees and billy clubs are just a couple of Holder’s many tools to intimidate good people from taking people out his plantations to higher ground.

Henry Hawkins | August 11, 2014 at 11:40 am

NC is reaping the benefits of turning both state houses and the governorship over to the GOP in 2010, and to a fairly conservative GOP at that:

A $2.5 billion budget deficit eliminated via tax cuts

Enacted largest tax cut in NC history

A $600 million state health plan deficit is now $70 million in the green

Put the state health plan under legislative oversight

Funded the state retirees pension plan, now out of debt and considered among nation’s top five plans

Balanced the state budget

Passed tort reform

Raised teacher’s pay, new teachers now meet nat’l avg

Ended teacher tenure, set up merit-based pay

Rejected $2.3 billion in federal Medicaid money, paid in $1.5 billion made available with balanced budget and tax reforms

Fracking for natural gas starts next year and are pushing hard for off shore drilling against Obama moratorium

Created jobs, lowered unemployment (the right way – indirectly through tax reform, dereg, etc.)

Voter ID law

Much more……..

Now all we need to do is secede from the Union.

    That is impressive.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Rick. | August 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      In response, NC libs (well, 90% of them are from outside NC) have staged “Moral Monday” protests in Raleigh every Monday. They’ve expended their war chest for the midterms and accomplished absolutely nothing by it.

      Our Governor, Pat McCrory, is more of a centrist Republican who’s been dragged to the right by our state houses. A record like he’s had in NC might get his name tossed in the ring for 2016, a la Scott Walker, but the suspicion is that a McCrory unencumbered by a largely conservative NC house and senate will swing back to the middle, in other words, it will be the national GOP RINO leaders who toss his name in first, most likely. McCrory’s nat’l name recognition now is ZIP, however.

      The Tea Party is dead! No, nationally it’s asleep, but in many, many states it is alive and kicking ass.

        Ahh, the North Carolina “Moral Monday” Morons, who are out there protesting and accomplishing exactly nothing by their presence.

        We haven’t heard about them in a while. I suppose that they’ve been so ineffective that people are starting to treat them like lawn ornaments.

    If you do secede from the Union will I still be able to get some NC barbequed ribs and chicken?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to jennifer a johnson. | August 11, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Absolutely, delivered free to your door.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm

        Gus? See if she wants fries with that.

          OK, but only if you include fried chicken, then NC can secede. I give my executive order.

          And, if Texas and Memphis also secede we could form a barbeque nation with good food, good music, dancing and guns and Sarah Palin Day and…ah, just dreaming.

          Gus…poor, poor Gus. I’m afraid he’s making a “run for the border”, the only border he cares about – Taco Bell.

          Gus would make a great host replacement for David Gregory.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    If you like your GOP reforms, you can keep your GOP reforms (that is, unless SCOTUS has anything to say about any of them).

“Holder loses big in North Carolina!”

Would it be crass to say “Bwaahahahahaha, take that you race baiting scum-sucking troglodyte!”

It probably would… so I won’t. 🙂

EEeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk….Vote Suppression…!!!

That said, I am incapable of “getting” WTF any rational argument would be against valid, up-to-date ID to do this most sacred rite of American citizenry. Lemme ‘Get This’, General Holder…It’s raaaccciiisssttt to ask to see what is required to board an airline plane in the US?? W*T*F..??

I saw a fellow on the tube railing about how being forced to produce a valid ID to vote would disenfranchise people like his Uncle Will, who didn’t have ID and how it would be an unconscionable hardship for him to acquire one. Later that same day “Uncle Will” was in line ahead of me buying a couple of bottles of whiskey … and was able to offer the clerk several forms of ID!

It seems that producing an ID is only a major hardship at polling places. OR, maybe the whole thing really IS just a lame attempt to allow actual voter fraud to continue? Nah, the Dems wouldn’t try to con us like that … would they?