Voters file lawsuit over North Carolina voter ID law

North Carolina voters are challenging a new state law that requires photo identification be shown at polling places, The Charlotte News & Observer reported Thursday

The Republican-controlled state legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the bill, with the House voting 72-40 on Wednesday and the Senate confirming they had the votes to nullify the veto on Thursday.

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A photo voter ID question appeared on the midterm ballot as a constitutional amendment and was supported by 55 percent of voters.

North Carolina had passed a similar law in 2013, but it was thrown out in 2016. Federal judges said that the policy “targeted African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” according to the Observer.

When it was confirmed that Cooper's veto would be nullified, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice announced their lawsuit, led by six voters.

The lawsuit contends that adding a voter ID requirement creates an undue burden on the right to vote for African-American and American Indian residents by adding a financial cost to voting in the form of lost work hours and the need to find transportation to obtain an ID.

“The North Carolina Constitution provides numerous and inviolable protections for the fundamental right to vote of all its citizens,” Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney for the plaintiff organization, said. 

“Just because the North Carolina Constitution now authorizes, with exceptions, the presentation of a picture ID when voting does not mean those other longstanding protections can be ignored or violated.”

The lawsuit also calls for a stay of rule implementation while the lawsuit is in progress.