N.C. governor signs voting law

North Carolina has become the latest state to sign into law overly restrictive changes to their election laws. In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling striking a key provision from the Voting Rights Act, states like North Carolina, who previously needed federal approval before making significant changes to their voting laws, are now free to make sweeping changes. Critics say these changes disenfranchise typically minority voters, young voters, and the elderly.

North Carolina’s governor on Monday quietly signed a measure into law that overhauls the state’s election laws to require government-issued photo IDs at the polls and to shorten early voting, moves that drew stinging criticism and threats of legal action from the NAACP and other groups.
The American Civil Liberties Union joined two other groups in announcing that they were filing suit against key parts of the package. This came hours after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement that he had signed the measure, without a ceremony and without journalists present.
Republicans lawmakers who backed the measure said it was meant to prevent voter fraud, which they allege is both rampant and undetected in North Carolina. Independent voting rights groups joined Democrats and libertarians in suggesting the true goal was to suppress voter turnout, especially among traditional Democratic constituencies such as blacks, the young, the elderly and the poor.
The article goes on to describe the impact of this bill.
The package would take effect in 2016. It requires voters to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls and shortens early voting by a week, from 17 days to 10. It also ends same-day registration, requiring voters to register, update their address or make any other needed changes at least 25 days ahead of an election. A high school civics program that registers tens of thousands of students to vote each year in advance of their 18th birthdays has been eliminated.
A provision also would end straight-ticket voting, in place in the state since 1925.
Critics said disclosure requirements intended to make clear who is underwriting campaign ads also would be weakened, and note that political parties would be allowed to take in unlimited corporate donations. The cap on individual campaign donations also would rise from $4,000 to $5,000.

Read the full article at Politico