Saturday, July 30, 2016

The ‘Smoking Gun’ Proving North Carolina Republicans Tried To Disenfranchise Black Voters

The Washington Post reports on The ‘smoking gun’ proving North Carolina Republicans tried to disenfranchise black voters.

In particular, the court found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state. 'This data showed that African Americans disproportionately lacked the most common kind of photo ID, those issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV),' the judges wrote.

So the legislators made it so that the only acceptable forms of voter identification were the ones disproportionately used by white people. 'With race data in hand, the legislature amended the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans,' the judges wrote. 'The bill retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians were more likely to possess.'

The data also showed that black voters were more likely to make use of early voting — particularly the first seven days out of North Carolina's 17-day voting period. So lawmakers eliminated these seven days of voting. 'After receipt of this racial data, the General Assembly amended the bill to eliminate the first week of early voting, shortening the total early voting period from seventeen to ten days,' the court found.

Most strikingly, the judges point to a 'smoking gun' in North Carolina's justification for the law, proving discriminatory intent. The state argued in court that 'counties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black' and 'disproportionately Democratic,' and said it did away with Sunday voting as a result.

'Thus, in what comes as close to a smoking gun as we are likely to see in modern times, the State’s very justification for a challenged statute hinges explicitly on race — specifically its concern that African Americans, who had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, had too much access to the franchise,' the judges write in their decision.

Evidently we all knew this would happen except for John Roberts.

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