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.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:45:32 GMT
HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) – Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender County) is the only local Republican member of the NC House not to endorse House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenberg) in his bid for U.S. Senate. TillisMore >>
Rep. Chris Millis of Pender County is the only member of the local GOP delegation in the state House not to endorse Rep. Thom Tillis in his campaign for U.S. Senate. Click on the story to see why Millis is not endorsing Tillis or any other candidate in the GOP field.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:10 AM EST2014-03-07 13:10:59 GMT
SWANNANOA, N.C. (AP/WECT) - State Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who this week stepped down as minority leader because of illness, has died. He was 67. Senate Democratic Caucus Director Ford Porter said NesbittMore >>
Just days after stepping down as the Senate Minority Leader in the General Assembly, state Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) passed away from stomach cancer.More >>
Wednesday, March 5 2014 8:03 AM EST2014-03-05 13:03:49 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina state Sen. Martin Nesbitt has stepped down as the Senate's minority leader because of a recent medical diagnosis. Sen. Dan Blue is taking his place. The Senate DemocraticMore >>
State Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) has stepped down from his position of Minority Leader because of a health issue. Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake) will be filling the role.More >>
Sunday, March 2 2014 10:02 AM EST2014-03-02 15:02:31 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A flurry of final-day filings on Friday added candidates to races for seats in Washington DC, Raleigh and southeastern North Carolina. New Hanover County Commissioner JonathanMore >>
Several last-minute filings set up primary challenges for candidates seeking office in Raleigh and Washington, DC. Nearly all Sheriffs in southeastern North Carolina will also have primary challenges in 2014.More >>
Friday, February 28 2014 12:00 AM EST2014-02-28 05:00:12 GMT
FLORENCE, SC (WECT) – Will Breazeale, the 2008 Republican nominee for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District seat, has decided not to run for the same office in 2014. In a news release sent out lateMore >>
Will Breazeale, who won the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District in 2008, has decided not to make another run for the office in 2014.More >>
322 Shipyard Boulevard
Wilmington, NC 28412
Main Phone Number: (910) 791-8070
Newsroom: (910) 791-6681