|Election workers checked voters' ID in Asheville in March.|
(Photo by George Etheredge for The New York Times)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said the district court judge had “ignore[d] critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina. . . . We can only conclude that the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the challenged provisions of the law with discriminatory intent.”
The voter-ID law "also abolished same-day voter registration and ended preregistration, which had permitted some teenagers to sign up for the voting rolls before they turned 18," Blinder notes. "Republicans argued the law protected against fraud, but critics said it was an effort to disenfranchise certain voters, particularly black and Hispanic ones."
North Carolina had one of the largest rural populations among the states in the 2010 census: 3,233,727, or 34 percent of its population. The only state with more rural residents was Texas, with 3.8 million, but that was only 15 percent of its population. A federal appeals court threw out a voter-ID law in Texas last week, saying it was racially discriminator and violated the Voting Rights Act.