Congresswoman Terri Sewell Responds to the Recent Court Decision Invalidating North Carolina's Voter ID Law
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Sewell released the following statement in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit’s decision invalidating North Carolina’s onerous voter ID law:
“The court ruling by the 4th Circuit on Friday striking down North Carolina’s voter ID law is a great victory for American democracy. As a strong advocate for equal access to the ballot box, I have been a vocal opponent of voter photo ID laws because of their discriminatory impact on certain vulnerable communities. The court ruling expressly validates this concern by finding that the new provisions in the North Carolina voting law ‘target African Americans with almost surgical precision.’ Likewise, the court panel noted the state's motivation of reducing fraud ‘impose cures for problems that did not exist.”’
“The 4th Circuit’s decision is consistent with other recent findings by courts in Texas and Wisconsin, which also note that voters, particularly in minority communities, would be adversely harmed by changes to voting rights laws in those states. These decisions once again underscore the importance of the need for federal preclearance for changes to voting practices and procedures that could have a discriminatory impact.
“As the 2016 Presidential Election cycle continues, it is critically important that we recognize and defend against any attempts to create modern day barriers to the ballot box that disenfranchise the most vulnerable members of our community. Instead of making voting more difficult, we should be working to ensure that every American citizen is able to exercise their constitutionally protected right.
“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, I will continue to urge my colleagues in Congress to enact meaningful legislation to restore the vote such as H.R. 2867: The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015, a bill I introduced to create a modern day coverage formula to fully restore the federal protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We should all strive to ensure that our right to vote is fair and inclusive for all citizens. As such, the recent ruling in North Carolina sets a very important precedent.”