A Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down North Carolina’s ‘Discriminatory’ Voter ID Law


On Friday, a federal appeals court reversed some of North Carolina’s voting laws. The courts agreed that the state’s voting laws, which require voters to show certain types of photographic identification at polling places, were “passed with racially discriminatory intent.” The three judges — all of whom are Democrats — believe the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature violated the Voting Rights Act with these laws. Republicans contended these laws were enacted to help combat fraud at polls, but some believed they discriminated against minority communities.

This ruling, as reported by Politico, should come as a comfort to those who worried the laws would affect the general election. Judge Diana Motz wrote how these laws were not passed in a non-partisan fashion:

“The record makes clear that the historical origin of the challenged provisions in this statute is not the innocuous back-and-forth of routine partisan struggle that the State suggests and that the district court accepted. Rather, the General Assembly enacted them in the immediate aftermath of unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with a troubled racial history and racially polarized voting. The district court clearly erred in ignoring or dismissing this historical background evidence, all of which supports a finding of discriminatory intent.”

Motz, however, did dissent slightly from the appeals court panel, saying there should only be a temporary ban on the photo ID checks, as opposed to an outright ban. North Carolina seems to have now turned into a major swing state for the election. Now, more people may be voting in November.

(Via Politico & The New York Times)