The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against North Carolina on Monday challenging the state’s voting law on the basis of discriminatory intent and joining state lawsuits by the N.C. NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina.
The department filed the lawsuit Monday, saying that provisions in the law — like shortening the early voting period by a week, eliminating same-day registration, requiring a government-issued photo ID and making it so that ballots cast in the wrong precinct won’t be counted — discriminate against minorities.
“By restricting access and ease of voter participation, this new law would shrink, rather than expand, access to the franchise,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a news conference. “Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation.”
According to an April State Board of Elections study, more than 318,000 North Carolinian voters do not hold a valid ID from the N.C. DMV.
Holder said the department will present evidence of the law’s “racially discriminatory effect.” The case also calls for a preclearance regime in the state, which would require that the federal government reviews changes to voting law before implementation.