DURHAM, N.C. -- No sooner than Governor Pat McCrory signed sweeping changes of North Carolina’s elections, civil rights groups sued to stop them. The NAACP, the ACLU and more middle-of-the-road groups like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters all say the election act will limit the number of votes cast, particularly among African American and Latino voters.
The so-called “omnibus” election bill goes far beyond requiring photo IDs in order to vote, but goes on to cut out a week of early voting, eliminate out-of-precinct voting, do away with same-day registration for early voting and open up ballots to challenge from voters outside the precinct.
"I'm going to do everything I can to fight this evil that's suppressing us. Because it's just wrong,” said 83-year-old Mary E. Perry at a Durham news conference sponsored by the North Carolina NAACP. "We are not going to have it. We're going to fight, fight, fight."
The election law has drawn nationwide attention. Former and potential future presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told the American Bar Association, “North Carolina has a voting law that reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression.”
Governor McCrory defended the law and bashed its critics in a 90 second YouTube video in lieu of a public bill signing, saying, “Many of those from the extreme left who have been criticizing Voter ID are using scare tactics. They're more interested in divisive politics than in ensuring no one's vote is disenfranchised by a fraudulent ballot."
Republicans pushed the bill through both houses of the legislature they control, while offering scant evidence of voter fraud.