OK

From Texas to Alaska, lawmakers are moving swiftly to put the Supreme Court's 5-4 rulling gutting the Voting Rights Act to practical use by making it harder for blacks, Latinos and indigenous people to exercise their right to vote.

In North Carolina, where 40 counties until last week's ruling were required to get any changes in voting laws cleared in advance by federal authorities, Republicans make upside-down claims that their moves will give more integrity to the system:

The GOP chairman of the state Senate rules committee, Sen. Tom Apodaca, said he would move quickly to pass a voter ID law that Republicans say would bolster the integrity of the balloting process. GOP leaders also began engineering an end to the state's early voting, Sunday voting and same-day registration provisions, all popular with black voters. Civil rights groups say the moves are designed to restrict poll access by blacks, who vote reliably Democratic.

The moves are only the first indication that the ruling will have "a demonstrably negative impact on voters of color," said [voting right lawyer Allison] Riggs, staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The group already has a 2-year-old lawsuit pending that alleges racial discrimination in the 1st District and three dozen other North Carolina districts redrawn by Republicans.

While many have argued that voter I.D. laws are fair to all and no burden, the liberal Democracy North Carolina group says blacks made up 22 percent of North Carolina's registered voters last year but 34 percent of voters without a driver's license or state-issued ID. It also said 29 percent of early voters and 34 percent of same-day registration voters were black.

The changes in voting laws being planned, or in some cases, already being implemented as a result of the Supreme Court's decision are just the beginning.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Asheville, North Carolina BLUE, and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.