Friday, June 9, 2023

North Carolina High Court strikes down voter-ID law, electoral map

(Reuters) – The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday struck down a 2018 voter-identification law that it said discriminated against black voters and redrawn the state’s Senate map because of Republican partisan gerrymandering ordered to do.

Both were 4-3 decisions along party lines, with all Democratic justices of the court voting in the majority and all Republican justices dissenting. The decisions come just before the GOP regains control on January 1, when there will be five Republican justices and two Democrats.

The court upheld a lower court’s 2021 ruling that a 2018 law requiring voters to present photo ID was unconstitutional. The majority opinion stated that the lower court correctly found that the law was “motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose.”

Republican-led legislatures in several states have passed similar voter ID laws in recent years, arguing that they are needed to prevent voter fraud.

But critics, including Democrats and voting rights advocates, say the laws are likely to suppress votes for African Americans, who are more likely to vote Democratic and lack the required identification cards.

In the gerrymandering case, the court found that the limits for state senate districts unfairly favor Republicans and disenfranchise black voters, diluting their vote. The electoral map was prepared by Republican legislators in 2021 and used for the November elections.

The court’s majority opinion found that the map deprives voters of their “fundamental right to equal voting power.”

The court ordered that a lower court judge redraw the state senate map to meet constitutional requirements.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters,

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