The North Carolina Department of Justice released a statement from Attorney General Roy Cooper Tuesday about the Supreme Court's ruling on the Voting Rights Act. Cooper had signed a brief urging the court to uphold the act before it struck down section 4.
“This ruling doesn’t eliminate North Carolina’s obligation to keep elections open and accessible. Now that this important tool used to fight election law discrimination is gone, the legislature must take even more care to resist new laws that make it harder for people to vote,” read the state from Cooper.
This landmark civil rights law was originally enacted in 1965 to combat efforts to disenfranchise certain groups of voters and was most recently reauthorized by Congress in 2006.
Section 4 establishes the criteria to determine whether a state or part of a state must seek review of any changes to its election laws by the U.S. Department of Justice under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, a process known as preclearance. Until Congress sets new criteria, no state or part of a state will be subject to preclearance under Section 5.
In North Carolina the ruling will affect 40 counties that were included under section 5. Most of the counties affected are here in the eastern part of our state. 22 of those counties fall east of I-95. Click on the link below to see all states and counties affected under the Supreme Court ruling.
The North Carolina General Assembly is now considering legislation that among other changes would limit early voting and require voter I.D.