The federal appeals court on Wednesday overturned a controversial North Carolina law that requires residents to have a photo ID to vote.
The three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal unanimously reversed the lower court decision ordering SB 824, which opponents said would end the disenfranchisement of minority voters.
The district court ruled in December 2019 that the state could not enforce the requirement, according to the WTVD, and stated that it should stop the public from requiring a photo ID during the 2020 elections.
Roy Cooper (D) was the governor of North Carolina he argued that the order should be upheld because it would affect “those minority voters who all have the least photo ID that complies with SB 824 and are most at risk from COVID-19.
The councilor representing the NAACP North Carolina State Conference also argued that “an unprecedented recent history of electoral laws involving racial discrimination” cannot be ignored.
In his decision, the appellate court found that the lower court had abused its discretion and found that “fundamental errors of law pervading the opinion — reversing the burden of proof and failing to presume legitimate good faith — irrevocably affected its outcome”.
However, the court acknowledged “that North Carolina has a long and shameful history of racial voter oppression.”
“Now that the Federal Court of Appeals has approved the North Carolina Voters Act and the constitutional amendment, they must be implemented for our state’s next election cycle,” said North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R). said in a statement.
Moore supported the constitutional amendment to the state’s 2018 voter ID adopted.
The legislation was passed by state legislature after District 4 repealed a series of restrictive voter laws in 2016, stating that the provisions spoke of disenfranchisement of black voters with “almost surgical accuracy”.