Groups file suit over Voter ID bill; poll says bill is unpopular - WNCN: News, Weather

Groups file suit over Voter ID bill; poll says bill is unpopular

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Multiple civil liberties groups said Monday they have filed lawsuits against the voter identification bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, and a new poll suggests North Carolinians are not happy with the bill.

In a news release, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice said the new law would "unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965."

"This law is a disaster. Eliminating a huge part of early voting will cut off voting opportunities for hundreds of thousands of citizens. It will turn Election Day into a mess, shoving more voters into even longer lines," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

ACLU N.C. legal director Chris Brook said many of the provisions in the law intended to protect from fraud came with little research.

"No one has ever said that we need to get rid of a week of early voting due to fraud, Brook said. "No one has ever highlighted any examples where same-day registration was connected to fraud."

The NAACP and the Advancement Project also said they had filed suit. Advancement Project co-director Penda Hair called the bill a "dizzying array of voting restrictions." They said their plaintiff is Rosanell Eaton, 92, who registered originally in North Carolina in the 1940s.

Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) said he in confident the law will hold up in any court challenges.

"Obviously, we designed it to be compliant with all the provisions the Supreme Court has laid out in prior cases," Dollar said. "It's very clear this will hold up the test of time in the courts."

Meanwhile, a poll released Monday by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh found that only 39 percent of voters in the state support the new law, while 50 percent were opposed.

PPP said in a news release that "voter ID on its own is a popular concept with voters" but said "all the other stuff lumped into the bill along with voter ID is unpopular enough to make the overall bill a loser in voters' eyes."

Public Policy Polling said only 33 percent of voters in the state support reducing the early voting period by a week to 59 percent who are opposed. And the poll found only 21 percent of voters support eliminating straight party ticket voting, and 68 percent are opposed.

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