Dept. of Justice sues N.C. over voter law - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Dept. of Justice sues N.C. over voter law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that his office is suing North Carolina over its new voter law, which the Justice Department says discriminates against minorities. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that his office is suing North Carolina over its new voter law, which the Justice Department says discriminates against minorities.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that his office is suing North Carolina over its new voter law, which the Justice Department says discriminates against minorities.  

The law reduces early voting days, eliminates same-day registration during early voting and requires voters to have a photo ID.

Holder said the Justice Department will use North Carolina's own elections data to show that the state's new law will keep minorities from the polls.  

More than 70 percent of African Americans who voted in recent elections cast ballots during early voting, Holder said. 

"The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African Americans," he said. "This is an intentional step to break a system that was working, and it defies common sense."

Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the voter law, staunchly defended the measure. 

He said North Carolina will be one of 34 states to require some form of voter ID. He says it's common sense measure to protect elections.  

"North Carolina will require an ID to vote in 2016, just like you are required to present an ID when flying, buying tobacco or even buying Sudafed at the local drug stores here in North Carolina," McCrory said.

As word of the lawsuit spread from Washington to Wilmington, protestors in front of Sen. Thom Goolsby's office were thrilled.  

For weeks, they railed against recent actions by the General Assembly, including the voting law. 

Lynn Harris doesn't buy the argument that the federal lawsuit threatens state's rights. 

"That's what they said about Jim Crow laws, too, and if it were still up to state's rights, a lot of state would still have Jim Crow laws on the books."

Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis released a joint statement calling the Obama administration's claims baseless and saying the suit is an attempt to quash the will of North Carolina voters.  

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. 

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