Voter ID laws seemingly won’t be coming to North Carolina just yet after a federal judge announced her intentions to issue a temporary injunction as the lawsuit against the state continues to unfold.
According to the News & Observer, Judge Loretta Biggs announced her intentions on Thursday, although her official ruling is scheduled to come next week. Biggs said that as state election officials had been planning “a very large statewide mailing” next week to inform voters of the changes to the ID law, she wanted officials to know that the update will not be necessary after all.
As with any voter ID law that has tried to make its way through the system, there are opponents who argue that the intention is not really to protect votes, but instead to make it harder for Black people and other people of color to cast their votes.
In fact, a previous voter ID law championed by North Carolina Republicans was ruled unconstitutional by a panel of judges for its “discriminatory intent” to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” as the News & Observer notes.
Republicans have since written a new version of the law, which is the one up for question now, adjusting it to be much less restrictive, and leaving out some of the provisions that were identified as being particularly discriminatory.
“To issue an injunction against one of the nation’s most lenient voter ID laws – which 34 states already have – without providing an opinion is an outrageous affront to due process, the rights of North Carolina voters, and the rule of law,” North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore, a supporter of the new law, said, taking issue with Biggs’ announcement.
Moore has called on state leaders to appeal Biggs’ decision, but it is still unclear how Attorney General Josh Stein, who is a Democrat, will react, with his office signaling that they will wait for the official ruling before making a move.