North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said Friday he would sign a bill passed by the North Carolina legislature that would become the most suppressive voting law in the nation. But when asked to speak about a provision in the bill that would prohibit 17-year-olds from registering in advance of their 18th birthday, McCrory admitted he “did not know enough” and had not read that portion of the bill.
The bill, passed just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act and paved the way for new suppressive state laws, imposes a laundry list of new restrictions on access to the ballot, including eliminating same-day registration, cutting early voting, easing campaign contribution limits, and expanding the mechanisms for alleging voter fraud. In remarks saying he would sign the bill, McCrory focused on his support for the bill’s voter ID requirement — a particularly suppressive and discriminatory policy that McCrory has long supported. But when asked by an Associated Press reporter about another provision in the bill to limit new voter registration opportunities, McCrory said, “I don’t know enough. I’m sorry. I haven’t read that portion of the bill.”
McCrory also dodged questions about two other elements of the bill that restrict early voting and end same-day registration, choosing instead to tout new campaign contribution limits, and pointing to an amendment — added by Democrats — that would expand early voting hours to make up for the limited early voting days.
When a reporter repeated the original question, McCrory said same-day registration concerns him because of the “possibility for abuse.” He added: “There’s plenty of opportunity for voter registration — online, off-line, through many methods. I thought that was a fair system before, and I think it’s a fair system now.” The Associated Press pointed out that North Carolina has no online voter registration, although voters can download a form online and print it out
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision that effectively disables federal oversight of states with a history of voting discrimination, states have raced to pass new restrictive voting laws. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said he would challenge a voter ID law in Texas under another provision of the VRA not affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. Holder hinted he would pursue similar actions against other states with restrictive laws, saying, “This is the department’s first action to protect voting rights [after the Supreme Court’s ruling]. … But it will not be our last.”
(HT: Raw Story)