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AG Cooper urges Governor to veto restrictions on voting

Release date: 7/26/2013

Calls law regressive, likely to face challenges in court

Raleigh:  Attorney General Roy Cooper today urged Governor Pat McCrory to veto legislation enacted by the General Assembly that would restrict North Carolinians’ access to the polls.
“I write to state my strong opposition to the election reforms contained in House Bill 589 and ask that you veto this regressive legislation,” Cooper wrote in a letter to McCrory on Friday.  “For years, North Carolina has taken steps that encourage people to vote while maintaining the integrity of the system.”
Cooper’s letter highlights his policy objections to a number of provisions in the legislation that will make it harder for North Carolinians to vote.  If signed into law, the measure will:

  • Severely restrict working people’s opportunities to vote early and on weekends;
  • Prevent new voters from pre-registering so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18 years of age; and
  • Stop people from voting if they show up at the wrong polling place by mistake.
He also questions the need for the voter ID requirements included in the bill, calling those requirements “unnecessary, expensive and burdensome” in his letter.
Cooper anticipates that the new law will be challenged in court.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that it would fight state laws that restrict voting rights, and challenges from civil rights groups are likely as well.
“With a veto, you can encourage more people to be involved in the political process, stop this bad public policy, and prevent the confusion and cost of a legal battle,” Cooper wrote McCrory. 

Media contact:  Noelle Talley (919) 716-6413