October 4, 2013
DOJ: Changes violate Voting Rights Act
This week the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court to block implementation of H.589 – the so-called “monster voting law“, which observers have called “the country’s worst voter suppression law“.
“By restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
“Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation. Whenever warranted by the facts and the law, the department will not hesitate to use the tools and legal authorities at our disposal to fight against racial discrimination, to stand against disenfranchisement, and to safeguard the right of every eligible American to cast a ballot.” — Attorney General Eric Holder, 9/30/13
MaryBe McMillan, NC State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, did a radio interview with Charles Showalter of Union Edge radio about the DOJ lawsuit over our voter suppression law.
“We’re very pleased that the Department of Justice is going to challenge our state’s law. This law has nothing to do with voter fraud because that’s virtually non-existent. The purpose of this law is to make it harder for the elderly, students, and people of color to vote.” — MaryBe McMillan, 9/30/13
Though the Voter ID requirement imposed by H.589 is the most well-known provision of the law, most of the 56-page bill has nothing to do with Voter ID. (Interesting side note: photo IDs issued by public colleges or universities and local governments won’t count as valid, Voter ID.)
Provisions in the law that shorten early voting by a full week, end same-day registration during early voting, and forbid voters from casting a provisional ballot if they happen to show up at the wrong precinct on election day are also the target of DOJ’s lawsuit, in addition to the Voter ID requirement.
“To top it all off, while it makes it harder for ‘We the People’ to vote,” MaryBe said, “it makes it easier for corporations and the rich to buy elections by raising campaign contributions.”
“Something is wrong when lawmakers are trying so hard to keep people from engaging in their civic duty.”
Listen to MaryBe on the Union Edge talking about the DOJ lawsuit and voter suppression in North Carolina (starts at 28 min, 30 sec).