- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 17, 2022

North Carolina’s Supreme Court rejected a state voter ID requirement, citing that it was unconstitutional and carried an intentionally racially discriminatory motive.

The state’s high court made a 4-3 decision on Friday to side with a lower court ruling that voided the photo ID law due to the violation of an equal protection clause of the North Carolina Constitution.

“We hold that the three-judge panel’s findings of fact are supported by competent evidence showing that the statute was motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose,” wrote Associate Justice Anita Earls. 

Ms. Earls added that the enacted provisions “were formulated with an impermissible intent to discriminate against African American voters,” which is unconstitutional.

The law, pushed for by Republican state lawmakers, was challenged weeks after a photo ID amendment was added to the state constitution after being approved by voters.

The amendment, however, could also be at risk of being thrown out in separate litigation efforts, according to a report by ABC 11 of Raleigh.

Voter ID laws have been a contentious issue in states, as Republicans have sought bills to increase election security by seeking such a requirement.

Democrats have pushed for expanded and looser voting access and have dubbed GOP-led voter ID laws as a way of targeting communities of color, which have historically voted more for Democrats.

The conservative Honest Elections Project Action condemned the “activist ruling,” calling it anti-democracy.

“Overturning voter ID is part of the left’s nationwide anti-democracy agenda,” said Jason Snead, the group’s executive director. “Fortunately, there will be a new court next year, and lawmakers will have the opportunity to restore their voter ID law. That would bolster the integrity of the election system, honor the will of North Carolina voters, and make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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