NAACP ready to take legal action against voter ID - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

NAACP ready to take legal action against voter ID

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New voter ID law would require a government issued photo ID to vote. This includes a driver's license, a state ID, a military ID, U.S. passport or a veteran's ID. New voter ID law would require a government issued photo ID to vote. This includes a driver's license, a state ID, a military ID, U.S. passport or a veteran's ID.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina's chapter of the NAACP says it is ready to take legal action against a controversial bill establishing a requirement for voter ID.

The law will require a government issued photo ID to vote. This includes a driver's license, a state ID, a military ID, U.S. passport or a veteran's ID.

The state NAACP called the bill the "most extreme voter restriction laws in the nation." Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that he will sign the legislation into law.

"There will be more and fair and equitable access to voting with this new legislation, and I'm very pleased with that," McCrory said during a press conference Friday.

But the NAACP argues the new laws only suppress voter rights for minority voters.

"This is clearly an attempt to undermine the racial minorities of this state," said Irving Joyner, a member of the N.C. NAACP‘s legal team.

The State Board of Elections estimates more than 300,000 North Carolina voters don't have an ID.

"I think it's common sense to show an ID when you vote," McCrory said. "It's common sense law that 72 percentof North Carolinians agree with."

Joyner said it comes down to constitutional rights and the NAACP is looking at every option to fight the legislation.

"The constitution, if it was that much common sense, would have required that when it was enacted," he said.

The NAACP could either file a lawsuit of its own, or back legal action taken by the U.S. Justice Department.

"One way or another, there is going to be litigation, and we're going to be involved in it," Joyner said.

The bill also ends straight ticket voting, shortens early voting by one week and ends same-day registration. Supporters say it's all in an effort to restore confidence in the election system and prevent fraud.

"Same-day voter registration has always caused me concern because the difficulty in its application and the possibility for abuse," McCrory stated.

"There is no fraud in North Carolina. If there is fraud, it's in the general assembly," Joyner said.

In 2012, nearly 7 million ballots were cast in the general and two primary elections. Of those 6,947,317 ballots, the state Board of Elections said 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were referred to the appropriate district attorney's office.

That means of the nearly 7 million votes cast, voter fraud accounted for 0.00174 percent of the ballots.

The bill also ends pre-registration for voters under the age of 18. When asked how that helps prevent fraud, the governor said he didn't "know enough."

"I'm sorry, I haven't seen that part of the bill," McCrory said.

"The governor hasn't read quite a few parts of the bill, nor has he really read and understood the Constitution," Joyner said in response to the governor's comment.

Lawmakers say they believe the bill will stand up in court if it is challenged.

The NAACP says it should have a final decision about what legal action it will take by the end of the week.

Democratic attorney general Roy Cooper is also urging governor McCrory to veto the bill.

After it is signed, a government issued ID will be required to vote beginning in 2016.

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Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez is an investigative reporter and member of the WNCN Investigates team. His storytelling specialty is connecting the dots to get to the truth, with a goal of delivering results for our community. If you have something you’d like WNCN to investigate, contact Jonathan.

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