Under the Dome

Voter ID turns into "voter suppression" says Legislative Black Caucus

What was once a voter ID bill has evolved into “voter suppression,” members of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus said during a Wednesday news conference.

It’s likely House Bill 589 violates federal law, said Rep. Mickey Michaux of Durham, a Democrat. The legislation may very well be taken to court in the future.

Black Caucus members singled out provisions in the bill they believe will turn young voters, minorities and low-income people away from the polls. Narrowing ID options could force some to pay in order to obtain identification to vote, constituting a new-age “poll tax,” said Sen. Earline Parmon, a Winston-Salem Democrat. Throwing out pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds would affect the people the legislature invites to learn the political process as pages every year.

“ They are trying to deny emerging voters, college students, African Americans, our Latino and Hispanic citizens who have the right to vote,” said Rep. Rodney Moore, a Democrat from Charlotte. “I am committed to take this fight up…with others who want to see all citizens enjoy the fruits of democracy through their most fundamental right, which is their access to the ballot to elect their own representative.”

---Annalise Frank

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