North Carolina restricts voting rights

This video is called Inside Story: How relevant is the US Voting Rights Act?

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

North Carolina restricts right to vote rules

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Rights campaigners expressed fury today after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a law restricting the right to vote.

The new rules limit early voting and insist on voters carrying government-issued photo identification to the polls.

It abolishes the right to register and vote on the same day and ends a secondary school-based civic programme which registers young people to vote as they approach 18.

Mr McCrory claims this will reduce “rampant” vote fraud – but Democrats, civil liberties campaigns and trade unions insist it is aimed at suppressing voter turnout among poor and ethnic minority communities.

Republican strategists have noted a demographic decline in the party’s voter base, with the black and hispanic populations proportionally unlikely to vote for it.

National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People North Carolina president Reverend William Barber said the law was “trampling on the blood, sweat and tears of the martyrs, black and white, who fought for voting rights in this country.”

And the American Civil Liberties Union said it would mount a legal challenge.

Mr McCrory is one of a number of Republican state governors who have taken advantage of a Supreme Court ruling in June which undermined the Voting Rights Act.

The Act had required federal approval of changes to electoral law and was passed in the 1960s to stop southern states from racially discriminating against voters.

But judges dropped the requirement, leading to a flurry of right-wing bids to “tighten” voter registration.

Additional clauses in the North Carolina law weaken disclosure requirements on the funding sources for campaign adverts and remove any limit on corporate donations to political parties.

The new rules have sparked nationwide controversy, with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaking out against an “assault on voting rights” on Monday.

US attorney-general Eric Holder said last month he was asking courts to restore the federal approval requirement for changes to electoral law in Texas – and that this bid to restore voting rights “will not be our last.”

See also here.

Billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed today to appeal against a ruling that the city’s police have “illegally and systematically” used racial profiling in stop-and-searches: here.

Barbra Streisand: Why Is It Easier to Get an Assault Weapon Than to Vote? Here.

The US Justice Department have said that it will sue the state of North Carolina for racial discrimination in its tough new voting rules: here.

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