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Tag: Voter ID (page 1 of 6)

North Carolina Voter ID Law Struck Down

By: Emma Postel

Once again, a North Carolina voting law has been found unconstitutional. On September 17, 2021, a Wake County North Carolina Superior Court permanently enjoined SB 824, a law passed in 2018 requiring photo identification for in-person voting. The court struck down SB 824 as a violation of the North Carolina Constitution’s Equal Protections clause, as they found it was adopted with an “unconstitutional intent to target African American voters.” Among its findings of fact, the court noted that North Carolina has a long history of implementing voting laws that discriminated against the African American residents of the state. The General Assembly has indicated they will appeal the Wake County Court decision.

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Alabama Voter ID Law Here to Stay

By: Jeff Tyler

The Eleventh Circuit recently decided a 2015 lawsuit brought against Alabama’s voter photo ID law. The suit – brought by the Alabama NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and several individual plaintiffs – challenged Alabama’s requirement that all voters must provide photo ID in order to vote. Alabama’s voter photo ID law passed in 2011 with zero support from black legislators, but did not go into effect until 2014. In its lawsuit, the NAACP claimed that the photo ID requirement, as implemented, violates the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Fifteenth Amendment, and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (“VRA,” now codified at 52 U.S.C. § 10301).

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Indiana’s Voter ID Law in 2020: College Students Might be the Disenfranchised Voting Population Nobody Expected

By: Emma Merrill

Last year, a group of students at Purdue University in Indiana faced uncertainty about whether they could exercise their franchise rights in local elections. The controversy revolved around Indiana’s strict voter identification law. Julie Roush, a Republican elected as Tippecanoe County clerk in 2018, publicly questioned whether Purdue University’s school ID complied with Indiana’s infamous voter identification law. Roush faced swift public backlash on social media, and Purdue placated Roush’s concerns by adding expiration dates to its student IDs to comply with Indiana state law. Still, incoming Purdue sophomores (who were not issued new IDs last year) may be prevented from using their freshman IDs to vote in fall 2020 elections.

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HB 1169, North Carolina’s COVID-19 Election Remedy: A Sufficient Compromise or Too Far and Not Enough?

By: Forrest Via

It’s no news to anyone that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how Americans go about their daily lives, affecting many activities that we once took for granted as safe. Voting has not been spared from this list. With the November 2020 election quickly approaching, states across the country have adopted measures aimed at ensuring the safety of those casting ballots and supervising the polls on November 3.

North Carolina is one such state. This summer, the North Carolina General Assembly passed HB 1169 (now Session Law (NCSL) 2020-17 after Governor Roy Cooper’s signature in June), a bipartisan piece of legislation that, among its many provisions, lowers the state’s absentee ballot witness requirement to one person; allows individuals to request absentee ballots via email or fax; and provides funding for election officials to carry out their duties in the face of challenges presented by the pandemic.

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Opinion: The Problem with Voter ID in North Dakota

At a basic level, voter ID laws seem perfectly rational. Election security is important and requiring voters to present identification looks like a good way to prevent fraud. Yet in the United States, voter ID laws have been sharply criticized because in practice, they tend to disenfranchise voters and have the potential to reduce participation by discouraging voters from heading to the polls. Many Americans may lack the required ID and face barriers to obtaining one.

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The ID That Gets You Discounted Movie Tickets Now Permits You To Vote

By: Gabrielle Vance

In November of 2018, 55% of North Carolinians voted “yes” to a constitutional requirement that voters must present a photo ID to vote in person. The Governor promptly vetoed it. Then in December, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted in favor to override the Governor ‘s veto.

The resulting law, Senate Bill 824, amends North Carolina’s state constitution to require voters to present valid photo identification. The bill offers voters several examples of acceptable forms of photo ID, such as a driver’s license, a military ID card, and select student IDs. The strict qualifying requirements for student IDs effectively prevent students at some North Carolina colleges and universities from voting in-state, as explained below. If that student then fails to vote by absentee ballot in their home state, young voter turnout could be diminished.

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Dakota Drama: Could Controversial North Dakota Voter ID Law Migrate South?

By: Daniel Long

This past summer, the Eighth Circuit held that a controversial North Dakota law requiring very specific forms of voter identification could go into effect, vacating a district court’s injunction. The law in question, N.D. Cent. Code § 16.1-01-04.1, requires prospective voters to present identification that includes a North Dakota residential street address. If the prospective voter’s identification does not have a current residential street address, the voter may present other supplemental forms as well, such as a utility bill, provided that these forms contain a current residential address. North Dakota’s voter ID law received fierce backlash from Native Americans, whose IDs typically contain P.O. boxes rather than residential street addresses. The Eighth Circuit’s ruling begs the question, could North Dakota’s voter ID law migrate south to South Dakota? Continue reading

Can State Laws Fill the Gap Left by Shelby County v. Holder?

By: Trevor Bernardo

Following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to invalidate the coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, many wondered what impact the decision would have on minority voting access. The Brennan Center has found that formerly covered jurisdictions, like Texas and North Carolina, have passed restrictive voting laws (think voter ID) and purged voters from voter rolls at higher rates than non-covered jurisdictions. Continue reading

Opinion: Preventing Election Fraud, At What Cost?

Until recently, North Dakota was viewed as the easiest state for citizens to exercise their voting rights. This was due to the fact that North Dakota, unlike every other state, does not require voter registration. Such a sharp deviation in policy from every other state in the nation is justified by the uniqueness of North Dakota. The state is comprised of mostly rural communities and native reservations, most of which are close-knit communities where people know one another. While voter registration may be essential in more populous states, it makes little sense for North Dakota where, in many precincts, election officials are likely to personally know each individual who casts a ballot. Continue reading

Voter ID and Automatic Voter Registration Compromise in West Virginia

By: Jakob Stalnaker

Voter ID legislation has become an intensely ideological issue. Traditionally, Republicans support such legislation, while Democrats tend to oppose it. Further, some Democratic states have innovated automatic voter registration, which automatically registers voters unless they choose to opt out of the voter rolls. In 2016, West Virginia passed compromise legislation which could prove to be a model for other states in the future. Conservative and liberal legislators passed an election law bill, HB 4013, which joined together automatic voter registration with a voter ID requirement. Further, the voter ID portion of the bill had a number of provisions which made it more palatable to traditional opponents, garnering the bill bipartisan support.

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