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NAACP rolls out voter info line
Civil rights group to field calls on new law
 
Published Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:28 am
by Herbert L. White

The North Carolina NAACP has opened a toll-free telephone hotline to answer questions about voter ID law and ballot access.


The civil rights group has launched a phone number, 1 (855) 664-3487, to take calls related to the Voter Information Verification Act signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Pat McCrory. The law requires presentation of photo identification at polling places beginning in 2016 as well as ends same-day registration, straight-ticket ballots and restricts early voting to 10 days. Eligible voters who lack a state-issued photo identity card can get one free at any N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles location. A North Carolina driver’s license, military ID or U.S. passport will also suffice.


Requiring a photo ID, N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber contended earlier this month at a Charlotte press conference, is “a trampling on the blood, sweat and tears of the martyrs – black and white – who fought for voting rights in this country. It puts McCrory on the wrong side of history.”


The NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union have filed lawsuits to stop the law and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has threatened to take the state to court for potential violations of the Voting Rights Act. N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper lobbied McCrory to veto the bill, arguing it would cost the state millions of dollars to defend in court.


The NAACP has railed against Republican-led efforts to overhaul the state’s voting laws, contending the restrictions amount to suppression against groups most likely to support Democratic candidates. Republicans, like McCrory, argue presenting ID before voting ensures the legitimacy of the franchise.


“North Carolinians overwhelmingly support a common sense law that requires voters to present photo identification in order to cast a ballot,” McCrory said in a statement supporting the measure. “I am proud to sign this legislation into law. Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.”

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