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View from the Hill

A "Call to Action" after rejection of NC voter ID law

The striking down of North Carolina’s voter identification law by a federal appeals court was met with celebration — and a “call to action” by numerous civil rights and social justice organizations.

The N.C. voter ID law was ruled unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, citing “racially discriminatory intent.” The court found the law “target(ed) African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” in its attempts to make the voting process stricter.

The North Carolina NAACP, a plaintiff in the case, held a “Call to Action Conference Call” Friday evening to celebrate the court’s decision and urge further voter registration campaigns.

Rev. William Barber II, president of the N.C. NAACP, led the “call to action” along with others from the organization. 

The call opened with a prayer from Rev. Curtis Gatewood.

“It is truly a blessing to be in on this call this evening, for we have received a boon within our movement,” Gatewood said.

Barber praised the members of the N.C. NAACP for their commitment to the “4th circuit victory.”

"This is the biggest victory for voting rights since Shelby, and stopped the worst voter suppression bill since the 1960’s," Barber said on the call. 

The call incorporated legal commentary from a district attorney. Barber then condemned the racially discriminatory nature of the voter ID law — and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory's statements on the case. 

McCrory vowed to appeal the decision in a statement Friday, saying the panel of 4th Circuit Court judges are "undermining the integrity of our elections while also maligning our state." 

"The governor is literally saying that he's upset with the courts saying all people can vote — and you can't suppress the vote — even though he swore to uphold the Constitution," Barber said in response to the statement.

Barber called on each branch of the state's NAACP to move forward with efforts to increase voter registration in their district.

Goals were set for certain targeted counties to register more individuals to vote, and to encourage that through “I am a faithful voter” pledge cards.

“We have to turn out en masse so that nobody can ever say we fought for all of these provisions and we never used them,” Barber said.

The decision was celebrated on social media by numerous organizations and individuals.

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