CHARLOTTE, N.C. - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced he will no longer defend the state’s voter ID law.
A federal appeals court struck down the law last week, saying it unfairly targeted black voters. Gov. Pat McCrory quickly lashed out, saying Cooper is refusing to do his job.
While their political feud over the issue continues, others are talking about the ruling’s impact on November elections.
“This is a boon to both democrats and particularly African-American voters,” political expert Michael Bitzer said.
The appeals court ruling struck down provisions of the law which required photo IDs at the polls and eliminating a week of early voting, same day registration and out of precinct voting. All of those services are popular among black voters.
“African-American voters in 2008 and 2012 disproportionately utilized things like early voting, especially the first week of early voting,” Bitzer said.
In 2012, nearly 100,000 North Carolina voters used same-day registration.
Prominent state Democrats, including 12th District Congresswoman Alma Adams, said the party plans to take full advantage of the court ruling.
“It’s going to be very beneficial to us,” Adams said. “We’re going to be working to get out the vote and those things will encourage more people to go to the polls and vote.”
Republicans promise to appeal likely to the U.S Supreme Court.
If they can get a stay to block the appellate court ruling it’s possible their 2013 voter law could remain in place until after the November election.
“It’s not unusual for the Supreme Court to enter a stay in certain cases,” legal expert James Wyatt said. “Whether this is one of them, no one knows at this point. But it is likely that a motion to stay could be heard prior to the election.”
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