FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
30 September 2013
DURHAM: US Attorney General Eric Holder will announce today that the U.S. Attorneys from the three North Carolina Federal Districts in North Carolina will file a lawsuit on Monday, September 30, asking the Federal Courts to stop the law the majority of the NC General Assembly passed and Governor McCrory recently signed--a law many voting rights experts call the 'Worst Voter Suppression law in the nation.
The 'Voter Suppression' law was thrown together by tea party elements in the General Assembly to try to make it more difficult to vote for the growing electorate that wants to move North Carolina forward, not backward. After the Supreme Court cut the heart out of the Voting Rights Act last summer, ultra-right legislators celebrated. They called the VRA a "headache," and quickly threw their favorite suppression tactics into a catch-all bill, to reduce the new southern electorate of minorities, students, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, and working people. They cut early voting by seven days, cut same-day registration, stopped counting provisional ballots cast when a voter mistakenly came to the wrong polling place, and stopped the "long lines" rule that allowed for the extension of voting hours. McCrory and the right-wingers who control the House and Senate, led by Thom Tillis and Phil Berger, were proudest of the new law forcing everyone to obtain a government-issued ID by the 2016 election, eliminating all other forms of ID including student ID's.
"The southern strategy of the well-funded, nationally-coordinated ultra-right believes and has convinced many who purport a narrow and extreme political agenda that the only way they can hold onto their political power in Washington, and the south, is to drastically suppress voting rights for minorities," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP.
"We need every resource, including the U.S. Government, to help us expose the national conspiracy behind this movement to suppress targeted constituencies in the new southern electorate. When the good people of North Carolina learn about the origins and true aims of this hodge-podge of voter suppression tactics, we are confident they and the Courts will join us in saying, 'Forward Together, Not One Step Back.' I have sensed a strong new multi-racial progressive Movement growing in the State. The good people of North Carolina are disgusted when they learn that the far-right created the myth of voter fraud, then repeated over and over again, intentionally creating the main pretext for this naked power grab by the extremists."
Barber and the NAACP have been some of the key organizers of the two dozen Moral Mondays on Jones Street and on Main Streets in the legislators' home towns that have brought thousands out and nearly 1000 arrested for civil disobedience in protest to the immoral and extreme attacks of the current leadership. Additionally within one hour of the voter suppression bill being signed earlier this year, the NC NAACP filed a suit. The Advancement Project, the Kirkland and Ellis law firm acting pro bono, Adam Stein of Chapel Hill, the former partner of the late Julius Chambers, Atty. Irv Joyner, and assisted by Atty Jamie Phillips and Atty. Al McSurley represent the NC NAACP in its suit.
The U.S. Government suit states that the Governor and Legislature were "willfully discriminatory" when they passed the voter suppression law. The U.S. Government will ask the Court to strike down the law, and seek to have North Carolina returned to the list of states and counties that must get preclearance from the U.S. government, before it can change laws that affect where, when, and who can vote. The suit is similar to the one filed by the NC NAACP in the U.S. Court in Greensboro, within a couple of hours of McCrory's signing the constitutionally questionable voting changes.