“There is no category of voters that is even theoretically prohibited from voting” under North Carolina’s voter ID law, the filing says
Raleigh, N.C. – General Assembly lawmakers requested a hearing of the full state Court of Appeals on Tuesday to review North Carolina’s voter ID law, arguing “there is no category of voters that is even theoretically prohibited from voting.”
A liberal, activist appeals court panel recently reversed a bipartisan trial court’s approval of the state’s voter ID law that allows individuals without ID to still cast a ballot.
Attorneys for state lawmakers noted that the bipartisan three-judge trial court panel found the plaintiffs in Holmes v. Moore were unlikely to succeed on their challenge to North Carolina’s voter ID law, but “an error-ridden decision that took a one-sided look at the record” from an appeals court panel reversed their ruling last week.
North Carolina’s voter ID law was passed pursuant to a constitutional amendment approved by voters, was then vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper, but enacted by the state legislature in S.B. 824 Implementation of Voter ID Constitutional Amendment.
Arguing the case is of “exceptional importance” concerning “a constitutional mandate,” lawmakers’ request for a full hearing of the North Carolina Court of Appeals notes the state’s voter ID law “is exceptionally protective of voters and compares favorably with other laws that have been upheld in the face of similar challenges.”
“The panel failed to adequately distinguish North Carolina’s voter ID law from Virginia’s and South Carolina’s laws – which were upheld despite the fact that both laws are stricter than North Carolina’s in many respects,” attorneys for state lawmakers wrote Tuesday.
“Voters lacking ID may cast a reasonable impediment ballot that will be counted unless the declaration underlying the ballot is factually false.”
General Assembly leaders also noted in the filing that “less than 0.1% of participants in the March 2016 primary had to vote provisionally because they lacked ID under a prior law’s shorter ID list.”
“The General Assembly still exercised its discretionary authority to allow exceptions from the constitutional voter ID requirement to ensure that all registered voters will be able to vote…there thus is no category of voters that is even theoretically prohibited from voting by S.B. 824’s terms,” the motion for an en banc hearing of the state Court of Appeals said.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland), who filed the proposed voter ID constitutional amendment approved by voters, said the state Court of Appeals must grant the request for an en banc hearing given that “the people’s voice in the democratic process is at stake.”
“The people of North Carolina deserve a full, fair hearing of the state Court of Appeals on voter ID,” Speaker Moore said this week.
“This liberal, activist appeals court panel was wrong to reverse a bipartisan trial court’s ruling and tread on the will of voters in this state. The Court of Appeals must grant the request for a full hearing on voter ID given the people’s voice in the democratic process is at stake in this litigation.”