NC Supreme Court reinstates voter ID law, ends felons’ voting rights, overturns gerrymandering decision

North Carolina Supreme Court
North Carolina Supreme Court(
Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 12:38 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — In three separate rulings, the North Carolina Supreme Court reinstated the state’s voter ID law, ended voting rights for some felons and overturned a previous gerrymandering decision Friday.

The court’s Republican majority reinstated the voter identification law that passed five years ago.

It also reversed the map-drawing decision made years ago when the court was majority Democrat and found the electoral districts drawn by GOP members were illegal.

Another decision would end voting rights for felons who are out of prison but still serving probation or parole.

The court’s two Democratic justices dissented in all three cases.

A trial court had ruled that the state’s 2018 voter ID law was unconstitutional, tainted by racial bias and designed to help Republicans keep hold of power at the General Assembly. The high court sided with that ruling in December — when Democrats held a 4-3 majority — but agreed last month to take another look at it.

At the heart of the issue regarding voting rights for felons is a 1973 state law that delays the restoration of those rights for some offenders whose punishments do not include prison — which affects roughly 56,000 people.

A panel of state judged ruled last year that the law was unconstitutional and discriminates against Black residents. Defenders of the law say it treats all felony offenders the same and sets a bright line for voting once all punishments are completed.

This is a breaking news update from CBS 17.