Panel of judges rule 2018 Voter ID law unconstitutional

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People voting at the Whiteville Rescue Unit on November 6, 2018. (Photo: WWAY)

RALEIGH, NC  (WTVD) — A panel of judges on Friday permanently threw out North Carolina’s law requiring a photo ID to vote, the latest in a decade of courtroom defeats for Republican legislators.

The 2-1 decision ruled the 2018 law on Voter ID, Senate Bill 824, was unconstitutional because it unfairly targeted African American voters and thus violated the state’s Equal Protection Clause.

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“The Republican majority ‘targeted voters who, based on race, were unlikely to vote for the majority party,'” Hon. Vince M. Rozier, Jr and Hon. Michael J. O’Foghludha wrote in their opinion, citing a previous court ruling. “Even if done for partisan ends, that constitutes racial discrimination.”

North Carolina voters in 2018 approved a constitutional amendment enshrining the concept of requiring photo identification to cast a ballot, but the General Assembly would have to spell out exactly which IDs would be accepted and how that process would work.

Voters in 2018, moreover, chose a makeup of the North Carolina General Assembly that for the first time in several years took away the NCGOP’s veto-proof majorities. Republican leaders, however, utilized the lame-duck session to push through SB 824 knowing it could withstand a veto from Governor Cooper, which was indeed overridden.

Read more here.