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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Less than a week after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 and gutted the Voting Rights Act, North Carolina is proving why it was so necessary.

Under the now-defunct Section 5 of the Act, 40 of North Carolina’s 100 counties had to get “pre-clearance” before they could make any changes in voting laws. State Republicans are now preparing a package of tactics that are clearly designed to suppress the minority vote. In addition to a statewide voter ID law, the proposed legislation would cut early voting and eliminate Sunday voting, when African-Americans often vote after church as part of the “Souls to the Polls” program.

Republicans argue that the goal of limiting voting is to tamp down on voter fraud, a problem that simply does not exist, as the Bush administration discovered during a multi-year study.

But the true reasoning is much more cynical and obvious. It’s about preventing legitimate voters from voting by creating long lines that many working-class voters simply cannot afford to wait in.

“Research indicates that Democratic voters disproportionately use in-person early voting, while Republican voters are more likely to vote by absentee ballot, according to Chelsea Brossard at the Early Voting Information Center at Reed College,” writes the National Journal‘s Reid Wilson.

 

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