Gov. Pat McCrory today signed the monster, 60-part elections bill into law that will dramatically change North Carolina’s election process, beginning in 2014 and 2016 when its most sweeping provisions come into effect. Our handy factsheet shows how the law restricts and redefines who can vote, where, when and how and, at the same time, allows more special-interest, private money to pour into our public elections, often from secret sources. To claim, as its title and the governor do, that this law promotes confidence or integrity in elections is ridiculous. It is designed to help certain politicians and wealthy donors, not honest voters. It not only slices a week off early voting, ends straight-ticket voting and stops pre-registration of teenagers, it also raises contribution limits five-fold to judicial candidates, allows more corporate money to finance political parties, reduces disclosure, and repeals North Carolina’s pioneering “Stand By Your Ad” law. Under cover of the controversial photo ID requirement that attracted wide attention, legislative leaders rammed through a host of radical measures that would have faced tough scrutiny on their own.
The NAACP of NC, League of Women Voters, and other groups, along with individual voters, are filing different lawsuits with two teams of attorneys, one led by the Advancement Project and the other by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and ACLU of NC. Both challenge various provisions as violations of the Voting Rights Act and US Constitution. Democracy North Carolina will continue to provide research useful to groups in both lawsuits that documents the racial discrimination and harm to all voters by this monster law. A more detailed description of the changes made by the law is on WRAL-TV’s website.