Local voters ponder impact of high court decision

Local voters ponder impact of high court decision

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

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WCNC.com

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 8:00 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A U.S. Supreme Court decision to strike down part of the “Voting Rights Act” impacts 40 North Carolina counties.  Four counties around Charlotte, Cleveland, Gaston, Union, and Anson, receive federal oversight under the law. They’re required to submit any changes to local election law.

“That's a matter of doing an online submission through the Department of Justice. And we're required to give them 60 days in advance of the election to make their decision,” said John Whitley, director of Union County Board of Elections.

Justices said the formula to decide which states and counties need federal oversight under the 1965 law is outdated. Based on 1960’s numbers, the formula selected areas that used discriminatory tests for voting or had low black voter turnout.

“I think what the court said was ‘Congress, you've got to come up with more rationale than something 50 years ago.’  And it’s going to be a real struggle for Congress to do that,” said Dr. Michael Bitzer of Catawba College.

“It’s hard for me to see how they could come together and get something passed,” said Bitzer.

In the meantime, voters worry if rights will be suppressed until U.S. Congress acts.

“I think we have made progress, but I don't know we've made enough progress where we can just let it go with no oversight,” said Bishop Ronald Hash, African American voter in Concord.
ncluded more than $2 million to health care concerns like the Colon Cancer Prevention Network and the organ donor registry. Haley says they are good causes but the state shouldn't pick specific ones to fund.

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