ADL to DOJ: Block North Carolina's Discriminatory Voting Law

Aug 20, 2013, 14:09 ET from Anti-Defamation League

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether North Carolina's recently-enacted voting law discriminates against minority voters.

The League urged DOJ to consider seeking a "preclearance" requirement for North Carolina that would bar future voting law changes in the State until a federal court finds that such changes will not discriminate against minority voters.

"Part of honoring and celebrating our country's diversity means protecting the fundamental right to vote for all members of our community, and all citizens of North Carolina," said David C. Friedman, ADL Washington, DC Regional Director.  "We were dismayed that almost immediately after the Supreme Court struck down large parts of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), North Carolina passed one of the most sweeping, invidious voting laws to date."

Until the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 VRA in June in Shelby County v. Holder, 40 of North Carolina's 100 counties were subject to preclearance requirements pursuant to Section 5 of the Act.  Less than two months after the decision, North Carolina has enacted one of the harshest, most restrictive voter ID laws in the country to date and has limited access to the ballot in other ways, including greatly reducing the number of early voting days and empowering an increasing number of partisan poll workers who have the potential to intimidate eligible voters.

"We believe that this regressive new law which, among other things, requires government-issued photo identification to vote, makes it easier for partisan poll watchers to challenge eligible voters, and greatly reduces the number of early voting days, will disproportionately impact minorities and prevent eligible voters from exercising their fundamental right to vote," Mr. Friedman said.

ADL urged the DOJ to take action and request that the courts require North Carolina to preclear future voting laws pursuant to Section 3.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

SOURCE Anti-Defamation League