Per UPI, North Carolina’s voter ID law was put on hold, possibly until November, after a state appeals court panel ruled the 2018 measure was enacted with an intent to discriminate against minorities.
The three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction against enacting the voter ID law, extending the ban for as long as it takes to settle its legality in the courts.
A federal court had already blocked its use in next month’s primary election, and Tuesday’s state court ruling meant the law requiring photo ID to vote — passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature in December 2018 over the veto of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper — could still be on hold during the general elections in November as well.
The panel’s unanimous decision overturned a lower court decision allowing its implementation while the legal challenge from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice goes to trial.
The photo ID law was written by Republican legislators shortly after a November 2018 referendum in which 55 percent of the state’s voters approved a measure requiring photo ID to vote. In the same election, however, the party lost its legislative majority and so was acting as a lame duck body.
Cooper vetoed the measure, saying it “was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor and elderly voters,” but he was overridden along party lines.
In its ruling, the state appeals panel said the lame-duck nature of the voting session meant the law was drawn up quickly with “limited debate and public input.”
OANN reports the most recent law was passed by North Carolina voters in November 2018. The rule was blocked by a state court for the 2020 primary elections last July. At the time, however, it still had the green-light to be implemented during the generals.
Many left-wing activists have argued the rules would disproportionately target minority voters who may find it more difficult to to obtain state sanctioned forms of ID.
“Illegal voter ID bill; the latest bad faith attempt in a string of failed efforts by the North Carolina General Assembly to impede the right to vote of African Americans and Latinos in this state,” stated Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, President of the North Carolina’s NAACP.
However, many Republicans have argued the laws are necessary to protect electoral integrity.
North Carolina is an outlier among the United States without Voter ID. We can join the 34 other states – and all of our neighbors – that have Voter ID to strengthen election integrity. This common sense security measure is supported by an overwhelming majority of our citizens. pic.twitter.com/8Grl7ic1XH
— Speaker Tim Moore (@NCHouseSpeaker) June 21, 2018
Republicans have also said the bill is considered lenient compared to how strict voter ID laws can be. This new legislation allows for exemptions, which makes it possible to obtain state sanctioned IDs for free and would allow people to fill out provisional ballots if they do not have a photo ID on them at the time they cast their vote.
State Republicans have not yet said whether they plan on challenging the ruling in court.