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A Federal Judge Just Stopped Republicans From Purging Thousands Of Minority Voters

The evidence is clear: The voter-identification laws the GOP has been pushing are aimed at suppressing minority constituencies. And the particular restrictions imposed by Republican lawmakers –limiting the acceptable forms of identification, ending opportunities for student voting, reducing hours for early voting– certainly do appear aimed at voters who are more likely to vote for the Democratic Party.

Thankfully, a federal judge in battleground state North Carolina has ordered GOP state officials to restore thousands of minority voters back onto the voter registration lists after they tried to illegally purge them from said list.

According to media reports, state officials from a conservative group called the Voter Integrity Project said that almost 6,700 voters should be dropped from registration lists because they had concluded that the voters had moved out of Cumberland County, North Carolina. They then sent out notices to the voters in question… at the same address that they claimed the voters had vacated. Those who did not respond were purged from the voter list.

Early voting in North Carolina   | Imgur

Early voting in North Carolina | Imgur

A lawsuit filed by the NAACP stated that voters were targeted because of the color of their skin “in coordinated, en masse challenge proceedings brought in the final weeks and months before election day, and whose right to vote has been challenged solely on the basis of a single piece of undeliverable mail.”

Federal law dictates that registration can only be canceled if a voter confirms in writing that their residence has changed, or if they are sent a notice and neglects to vote for two federal elections. The law also forbids voter’s names to be systematically removed less than 90 days before an election.

Judge Loretta Biggs said that a citizen’s right to vote “cannot be sacrificed when citizens through no fault of their own have been removed from the voter rolls” and ordered the state to put the names back on the voter list. The state was also forbidden from striking any other names off registration lists.

Judge Biggs said those whose names were stricken “should be treated on election day as though no challenge ever occurred.”

Nice try, Republicans.


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