DNC Statement on Supreme Court Upholding Voting Rights in North Carolina
September 1, 2016
DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile issued the following statement:
“The Supreme Court’s refusal yesterday to overturn a lower court ruling in North Carolina was a major victory for voting rights. Voting should be easy for eligible voters. Thanks to a concerted effort led by Democrats, who believe in increasing participation and voter turnout, efforts to limit access to the ballot have been challenged and struck down in courts across the country.
“The high court’s refusal also confirmed what we already knew – attempts by Republican-led legislatures to restrict access to the polls are nothing more than partisan ploys to make it harder for women, people of color, veterans, millennials, and the elderly to vote.
“North Carolina’s restrictive election law was particularly egregious. A lower court found that Republican lawmakers acted “with almost surgical precision” to limit the influence of black voters at the polls. If nothing else, this proves the need for stronger federal protections to ensure that all Americans – regardless of the color of their skin – have equal access to the polls.
“When we passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, Democrats found willing allies across the aisle who recognized the importance of preserving the integrity of our elections. Those voices are nowhere to be found in today’s Republican Party. After the Supreme Court’s Shelby v. Holder decision gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights act three years ago, Republicans have resisted attempts to restore federal oversight in states with a history of discriminatory voting practices. We’ve witnessed a renewed assault on our right to vote through cuts in early voting, photo ID requirements, and provisions that eliminate same-day registration.
“As the North Carolina law clearly demonstrates, these types of policies were meant to make it harder for certain people to vote – people who look like me. We cannot take for granted any of our rights, but the right to vote is the most critical of them all. The right to vote is the right that protects and preserves all of our other rights and freedoms. Without it, we cease to have a voice in our democracy.”