June 14, 2018/Press

“Monster” Voter Suppression Bill Lives Again, Now Through Piecemeal Efforts

Raleigh – What do you do when your “monster” elections bill is ruled unconstitutional and found to target minorities with “almost surgical precision”? If you’re a North Carolina Republican, you revive it piece by piece.

In 2013, Republicans passed a “monster” voter suppression bill that cut early voting and required voters to show specific types of photo ID — restrictions that disproportionately affected minorities.

Now, the core tenets of that bill are back.

Around midnight last night, Republicans announced new cuts to early voting, including eliminating the popular final Saturday of early voting; nearly 1 in 10 early voters (9.41%) vote on the final Saturday in 2014. In practical terms, the law threatens to reduce the number of early voting sites by mandating 12-hour days at all polling locations, putting a strain on election workers and stretching budgets thin.

Some elections board members are already concerned that language in this new bill was previously declared unconstitutional under the old “monster” law. Election officials were not considered in these changes:

“Apparently Lewis and other #ncga legislators didn’t ask for any relevant data or information about the bills’ effects from @NCSBEstaff #ncpol” – NC Insider, 6/14/18

Today’s news comes after Republicans announced last week a constitutional amendment to force voters to present an ID to cast a ballot. The measure is vague and undefined, giving the same Republicans who targeted minorities with “almost surgical precision” wide latitude to fill in the details at a later date.

Respected North Carolina experts from both sides of the aisle have come out against the amendment:

“This bill will disenfranchise voters and is poorly thought through.” – Former Special Counsel to the N.C. General Assembly Gerry Cohen, News & Observer6/11/18

“Is it any wonder that [minority communities] are genuinely concerned that a voter ID requirement is just one more in a long line of measures to limit their right to vote? … Let’s put this proposal on the shelf as simply the right thing to do.” – Republican Former Supreme Court Justice Bob Ohr, Charlotte Observer, 6/13/18

Facing a blue wave and people marching in the streets demanding respect, Republicans are reacting the only way they know how – rigging our state and elections in a desperate attempt to hold onto power.

“Republicans are relaunching their unconstitutional ‘monster’ voter suppression bill piece by piece, creating new hurdles to the ballot box out without the input of the public or our election officials,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said.“These changes will make it harder for people to vote and are a clear sign that Republicans are desperate to rig our elections one last time before losing power this November.”