Senator Kay R. Hagan – Letter To DOJ (N.C. Voter ID Law)
Dear General Holder,
Over many decades, efforts like the women's suffrage and civil rights movements have expanded voting rights and eliminated barriers to participation in the political process. The United States and our democracy are stronger today because of those efforts.
I am particularly proud of the role North Carolina has played in these movements. North Carolina's role is best exemplified by the four brave young students in Greensboro who in 1960 refused to give up their seats at a whites-only lunch counter and helped spark the movement that ended desegregation and led to the passage of the initial Voting Rights Act.
All American citizens deserve an equal opportunity to participate in the democratic process. Unfortunately, North Carolina House Bill 589, which was signed into law yesterday, dramatically alters North Carolina's voting laws and procedures. In particular, the law reduces early voting by one week, eliminates pre-registration of highschoolers, ends same-day registration, restricts the ability to vote by provisional ballot, and requires government-issued photo identification to vote. I am deeply concerned that H.B. 589 will restrict the ability of minorities, seniors, students, the disabled, and low and middle income citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is unacceptable to me and most North Carolinians.
Protecting the fundamental right of our citizens to vote should be among the federal government's highest priorities. In response to voting restrictions signed into law yesterday, I strongly encourage the Justice Department to immediately review North Carolina House Bill 589 and take all appropriate steps to protect federal civil rights and the fundamental right to vote.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this critical matter.
Kay R. Hagan
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