“Thus, the unconstitutional racial gerrymander tainted the three-fifths majorities required by the state constitution before an amendment can be submitted to the people for a vote, breaking the requisite chain of popular sovereignty between North Carolina citizens and their representatives,” he wrote.
Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has a March 15 deadline to certify under the penalty of perjury that student IDs comply with Senate Bill 824’s university-issued identification requirement. The UNC Young Democrats released a statement in support of UNC One Cards qualifying.
“There are lessons to be learned from our university’s recent history. Our state and university must take steps to ensure that One Cards count as valid voter ID,” the statement said. “Student voices matter and so do student votes. We ask Chancellor Guskiewicz and state officials to listen and act.”
UNC-system General Counsel Tom Shanahan released a statement on this provision in the Voter ID law, saying that the UNC System Office is continuing to work closely with the 17 institutions to help eligible students register to vote.
“Students at UNC-system institutions currently may receive students IDs even if they are not citizens, or do not have social security numbers, or are not 18 years of age,” he said. “UNC-system institutions continue to work through these and other requirements of the law.”
Shanahan also said institutions are also working to identify ways to assist in obtaining valid photo ID for those students and employees who need it.
The N.C. NAACP came out against the amendments three months before the 2018 election, with the Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, the association’s president, arguing that the proposed amendments represented great threats to the state’s democratic institutions.
The voter ID amendment passed with about 55.5 percent of the votes. The maximum income tax rate – the exact rate being 7 percent, originally set at 10 percent – passed with just over 57 percent of the votes.
Since 2013, the state has had a flat rate tax system, originally set at 5.75 percent.
The state has tried to implement a voter ID policy in a larger voter restriction law in 2013, leading to the N.C. NAACP suing Gov. Pat McCrory. The NAACP said the amendment was racially discriminatory and would have an irreparable impact on the right to vote of Black people.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in favor of the NAACP.
Currently, 35 states have some form of in-person voter ID law in place. Twenty-eight of these states allow student ID with various caveats.
Chris Clark, an assistant political science professor at UNC, said students should recognize the important role that state governments play in their everyday lives.
“Public opinion does not always align with political preferences that are beneficial for political minorities, the marginalized, the less powerful,” he said in an email. “So when majorities are able to make laws without being held accountable by elections, then it can be problematic for minority rights.”