NC NAACP, other groups oppose early voting limits - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NC NAACP, other groups oppose early voting limits

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina civil rights advocates and clergy said Friday that Republican legislative leaders are intent on denying voting rights to the poor and minorities through legislation to scale back early voting and other efforts to require photo identification to cast ballots.

Speakers representing several groups — led by the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — attended a news conference to condemn bills filed this week by GOP legislators to limit early voting.

The bills would reduce 2½-week early voting periods before primary and general elections by one week and halt same-day voter registration during those periods. The House bill also would eliminate Sunday voting, end straight-party balloting and make all judicial races partisan.

Referencing Easter in his comments, state NAACP President the Rev. William Barber said Republican lawmakers in charge of the General Assembly are seeking to manipulate election laws for their own partisan gain and at the loss of groups historically discouraged from voting.

"The legislature is trying to crucify voting rights in this state," Barber said at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, adding that his allies will sue if such measures become law. "We believe that they have overreached constitutionally, and we will test in the court everything that they do."

Early voting is popular — 56 percent of the 4.5 million ballots cast in November's election occurred at one-stop early voting sites. Same-day voter registration began in 2007. More than 250,000 people used the process during the 2012 election, disproportionately by young people, black residents and Democrats, said Bob Hall with Democracy North Carolina.

"It's really a blatant partisan maneuver," said Hall, adding that the House legislation also would make it easier to request mail-in absentee ballots, whose users historically have leaned Republican. That proposal could encourage voter fraud, he said.

House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, the House bill's primary sponsor, told WRAL-TV the legislation would "put some balance into the election process" and said he opposed Sunday voting because "some things you just shouldn't do on Sundays."

Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, the Senate bill primary sponsor, said the measure isn't meant to be partisan and that all voters will still have equal access to the polls.

The House agreed in 2011 to reduce the number of days in the early voting period, but the bill didn't pass the Senate.

Legislative leaders have sounded more interested so far this year in passing a law requiring photo identification to vote. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory supports stronger voter ID requirements. The Barber and his allies also are opposed to new photo ID requirements. House Republicans want to pass such a measure in April.

"It's simply wrong and unconstitutional to restrict in any way the rights of citizens to vote," the Rev. Nancy Petty, Pullen Baptist's pastor, said at the news conference.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    NC flags lowered on day of Fulghum service

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:11 AM EDT2014-07-23 09:11:02 GMT
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
    A first-term North Carolina legislator who died last weekend will be formally remembered within state government and at the church he attended for decades.
  • NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    NC counties see sales tax changes in Senate bill

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:46:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
    Four large North Carolina counties would see their authority to raise sales taxes scaled back in Senate legislation that its Republican supporters say would level the playing field across the state in generating revenue.
  • State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    State: Ex-Tarboro town manager used funds inappropriately

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:10:06 GMT

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

    The state auditor’s report determined that the former town manager “made nearly $366,000 of purchases" that were inappropriate.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
  • Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Houston school district holds 2nd job fair in Raleigh

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:27:25 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
    A Texas school district is once again holding a job fair for teachers in Raleigh.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.