Sunday, June 04, 2017

23.3 - Good News: North Carolina voter suppression blocked by SCOTUS

Good News: North Carolina voter suppression blocked by SCOTUS

I have talked several times about the issue of "voter ID" or, as it's properly called, suppressing the vote of minorities and the poor.

Indeed, a recent study concluded that photo ID laws kept over 200,000 mostly Democratic and African-American voters from the polls in 2016 in Wisconsin alone.

So it was Good News that just a few days after that report came out, the Supreme Court shot down once and for all the strict voter-identification law that had been passed by North Carolina's reactionary legislature.

The law had been struck down by the Forth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said it "targets African-Americans with almost surgical precision" for the purpose of suppressing their vote and the court had the documents to prove it.

After Roy Cooper was elected governor of North Carolina, his administration dropped the state's appeal of the that decision - but the GOPper-dominated state legislature said it should be able to intervene in the case to defend the law.

On May 15, the Supreme Court issued a two-page statement that boiled down to "No. Just no."

So at least for now, North Carolina's voter suppression has been stopped. And that is Good News - but bear in mind I did say "for now."

Meanwhile, there is some other Good News on voter rights: On May 29, the Illinois legislature unanimously passed a measure for automatic voter registration unanimously. It's now waiting for the signature of Gov. Bruce Rauner. He vetoed a previous version of the bill but will be hard put to veto this one not only because of the unanimous passage but also because this version was specifically designed to meet the concerns he expressed.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have already approved some form of automatic voter registration; Illinois would make nine. And 32 states have introduced automatic registration proposals this year.

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