Justices decided North Carolina’s election laws illegally discriminated against African-American voters. So now they’re asking local election officials to target them instead.
Three years ago, the North Carolina legislature adopted a wide-ranging election law that significantly changed voter identification and early voting rules, as well as voter registration processes — changes that were specifically targeted, as federal courts later ruled, to suppress minority voting.
The July 2016 ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the state legislature’s changes, was seen as a victory for voting rights advocates. But in spite of the ruling, state Republican leaders have instead instructed county Board of Elections appointees to carry out as much of the original, overturned law as they can.
In Iredell County, at least one of those measures could have a negative impact on black voters.
The state GOP last weekend released a memo to partisan appointed members of county boards of election, which pushed them to restrict early voting hours, deny Sunday voting, and restrict voting access on college campuses. The Iredell County Board of Elections, which met this Tuesday, followed some of those instructions.
Based on the chart below, Iredell County citizens won’t have the opportunity to vote on Sundays — a ruling that disproportionately affects African-American voters.