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Precinct workers assist voters at a polling location at the Wake County Firearms Education and Training Center on Election Day in Apex, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Voting began Tuesday morning at more than 2,700 precincts statewide, building upon more than 2.7 million ballots already cast through mail-in absentee voting and in-person early voting that ended last weekend. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

North Carolina Republicans fight to restore voter ID law deemed racist by court


Last week, North Carolina's notoriously strict voter ID law was ruled racially motivated and unconstitutional.

For decades, any changes to North Carolina voting laws had to be passed only with the approval of the Justice Department, given the state's history of discrimination.

But a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 ended that federal oversight.

The next day, North Carolina Republicans proposed a strict new law requiring photo ID, eliminating same-day voter registration and adding other restrictions.

The panoply of restrictions results in greater disenfranchisement than any of the law's provisions individually.
Judge Diana Motz

All of this, according to Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diana Motz, added up to a discriminatory law.

The photo ID requirements didn't include public assistance IDs, which Motz said were more often used by black people than white people.

Nixing same-day registration made it harder on those who had moved recently, which Motz said was more likely among blacks.

What do you think of the court's decision on voter ID laws?

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory called Motz's ruling "politically motivated" and promised to appeal, The Economist reports.

But that appeal might not matter. It would be nearly impossible to get the ruling in on time, and the U.S. Supreme Court justices are evenly split on the voter ID laws -- which means the appeal would likely have no chance even if it could arrive in time.

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