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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Attorney general to appeal photo ID ruling, but not before primary

Politics

By Angela Watson | Jan 10, 2020

Josh stein
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein will appeal a judge's ruling to block a mandate requiring a photo ID to vote in state elections. | joshstein.org

North Carolina plans to appeal a federal judge’s recent move to block a photo ID mandate for voters.

Judge Loretta Biggs’ action was highly criticized and drew the ire of the Republicans throughout the state. Dianne Parnell, Rockingham GOP chairwoman, said 30 other states have a photo ID law. 

“Why are we chosen?" Rockingham asked. "Because this is a battleground state. [And] in Rockingham County, we have flipped from blue to red.”


The impending appeal of Biggs’ ruling will not happen before the March 3 primary to avoid any voter confusion, and there will not be a photo ID requirement in place for the primary election, according to a statement from the office of Attorney General Josh Stein. Parnell said she is disappointed that Stein will not file an injunction before March 3.

North Carolina voters in 2018 were left to decide if a photo ID should be required in order to cast a vote. The amendment passed with 55 percent of the vote, and the requirement was to begin this year. 

Biggs’ ruling determined that the effort in 2018 to mandate photo IDs was intentional racial discrimination, and ultimately no different than a voter ID law that passed in 2013. That law was struck down by a federal appeals court in 2016. 

That court found that legislators targeted African-American voters by using a breakdown of voter behavior by race. The finding does not ring true to Parnell, who dismissed claims of attempted voter suppression.

“How hard is it to get a photo ID?” she asked, adding that a law requiring voters to produce one at the polls ensures the integrity of their vote.

President Barack Obama appointed Biggs in 2014.

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