...The whole matter hits federal court right here in Winston-Salem next month in the form of an N.C. NAACP lawsuit against the voter suppression law, Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials. “Here in the heart of North Carolina, we will be in the heart of a battle to protect voting rights for the next 20 to 30 years,” the head of the state NAACP, the Rev. William Barber, said during a recent visit to the Journal.
If there is justice, the big questions will finally be answered: Why would the state’s GOP majority in the legislature want to buck up against the first thing every high-school civics student learns (voting is healthy for a democracy, the more the better) and discourage people from voting?
Why would state conservatives, most of whom conceivably support their counterparts’ efforts in Congress for military action against dictators in foreign lands to encourage democracy, including voting, not do all they can to encourage those rights here?
Why would a state heralded in the early 1960s as the Southern leader in equal rights for blacks flash back to the ugly old days of the Deep South in preventing blacks from voting?Next month, as taxpayers foot much of the bill for the state’s defense, we may finally get some answers.
But before that, look for the supporters of this law to spin this case, saying it’s really just about voter identification, pointing out that you need an ID to do any number of things today. What they won’t tell you is that voter fraud has long been a felony in this state, and that there have been relatively few cases of it here, perhaps because of that.
And they probably won’t tell you that voter ID was just one of many anti-voting provisions in their elections law, including curbing early voting, voting by college students, Sunday voting, ending same-day registration and the use of out-of-precinct ballots - voting options overwhelmingly liked by blacks. They won’t tell you why they didn’t curb absentee voting, not as popular among blacks. And they won’t advertise that they eliminated pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds...