On Thursday night, North Carolina's legislature passed a voter ID bill that now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk for signature. It's a set of changes to its voting laws that, Mother Jones' Kevin Drum writes, are "astonishing" in their scope:
Require voter ID at polling places.
Reduce the early voting period from 17 days to 10 days.
Prohibit counties from extending poll hours by one hour on Election Day even in extraordinary circumstances, such as in response to long lines. (Those in line at closing time would still be allowed to vote.)
Eliminate pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, who currently can register to vote before they turn 18.
Outlaw paid voter registration drives.
Eliminate straight-ticket voting.
Eliminate provisional voting if someone shows up at the wrong precinct.
Allow any registered voter of a county to challenge the eligibility of a voter rather than just a voter of the precinct in which the suspect voter is registered.
One amendment that failed? Allowing people without a photo ID to cast a ballot if they could meet the requirements for mail-in absentee ballots, WRAL explains. Democratic voters tend to use early voting, while Republican voters tend to use absentee voting. A Justice Department lawsuit to stop the new law is possible, The Washington Post reports.
On Wednesday, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit that said a purge of voter rolls in Florida would have to be pre-cleared by the Justice Department under the VRA. Since the pre-clearance formula has been found unconstitutional, the lawsuit is moot. Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said in court filings the state would resume the purge, the Associated Press reports, lifting a five-month-old stay that blocked the state from giving the names of people it suspected weren't citizens to county election officials.
Last year, some of the names listed for removal were citizens. But now the state says its list will be accurate because it can access a national immigration database, the Associated Press reports. Florida Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings asked Gov. Rick Scott to stop the purge on Thursday.
Immediately after the Shelby County v. Holder decision, Texas announced it would go though with a voter ID law that was passed in 2011 but blocked by the Justice Department. The law requires a state-issued ID to vote (notably, a concealed-carry permit counts.) As The Atlantic Wire's Philip Bump noted, the state's research showed that Latinos were less likely to have such an ID, so the law would keep more Latinos from voting than non-Latinos.
On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department would ask a federal court in Texas to require the state to get pre-clearance for new voting laws. Holder also said the department would support a lawsuit by Texas Democrats that challenges the state's redistricting plan.
We should have seen this coming, the Supreme Court justice says. "The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn't make any sense to me," Ginsburg says. "And one really could have predicted what was going to happen."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.