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Tue Jan 26, 2016, 10:49 PM

Meet the 94-Year-Old Civil-Rights Activist Who Is Now Challenging North Carolina’s Voter-ID Law

This week, a federal court will hear a challenge to North Carolina’s voter-ID law. Ninety-four-year-old Rosanell Eaton will be a key witness against the law.

In 1942, the 21-year-old Eaton took a two-hour mule ride to the Franklin County courthouse in eastern North Carolina to register to vote. The three white male registrars told her to stand up straight, with her arms at her side, look straight ahead and recite the preamble to the Constitution from memory. After she did that word for word, they gave her a written literacy test, which she also passed. Eaton was one of the few blacks to pass a literacy test and make it on the voting rolls in the Jim Crow era.

A granddaughter of a slave, she became a lifelong voting-rights activist, personally registering 4,000 new voters before losing count. But in 2013, after voting for 70 years, she became a casualty of North Carolina’s new voter-ID law, which goes into effect this year, because the name on her voter registration card (Rosanell Eaton) did not match the name on her driver’s license (Rosa Johnson Eaton).

Beginning in January 2015, Eaton undertook a herculean effort to match her various documents and comply with the law. Over the course of a month, she made 11 trips to different state agencies — four trips to the DMV, four trips to two different Social Security offices, and three trips to different banks — totaling more than 200 miles and 20 hours. “It was really stressful and difficult, [a] headache and expensive, everything you could name,” she said. More than 300,000 North Carolinians lack a government-issued ID, with African Americans twice as likely as whites not to have one.

The North Carolina legislature passed one of the toughest voter-ID laws in July 2013 — a month after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. Then, just three weeks before a federal court heard a challenge to the law in July 2015, the legislature unexpectedly softened the voter-ID requirement. Those without government-issued photo ID could still vote if they proved there was a “reasonable impediment” to possessing or obtaining the strict voter ID. Now the North Carolina NAACP and the Justice Department are challenging the modified ID law in court. Judge Thomas Schroeder, who will hear the case, recently denied a preliminary injunction to block the law before the state’s March 15 primary.

From 2002 to 2012, there were only two cases of voter impersonation out of 35 million votes cast in North Carolina, according to Minnite’s research. There have been no new referrals since the legislature passed the voter ID law, which raises the question: Why was it needed in the first place?Of the 18,749 provisional ballots cast in North Carolina in 2014, more than half — 9,793 — were rejected.

The new restrictions had a clear negative impact in the last election. Democracy North Carolina estimated that “the new voting limitations and polling place problems reduced turnout by at least 30,000 voters in the 2014 election.” These voting problems occurred before the state’s voter-ID law took effect and before a highly contested presidential election. As voters begin to head to the polls to decide the next president, in the first presidential election since the VRA was gutted, the stakes are much higher in 2016.

At: http://billmoyers.com/story/meet-the-94-year-old-civil-rights-activist-who-is-now-challenging-north-carolinas-voter-id-law/

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Reply Meet the 94-Year-Old Civil-Rights Activist Who Is Now Challenging North Carolina’s Voter-ID Law (Original post)
forest444 Jan 2016 OP
retrowire Jan 2016 #1
merrily Jan 2016 #2
wildeyed Jan 2016 #3

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 11:00 PM

1. Go Rosanell go! nt

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 11:09 PM

2. Best wishes for your swift and complete success, Ms. Eaton.

Not only is your cause just, but you could not be a better example.

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Response to forest444 (Original post)

Wed Jan 27, 2016, 08:40 AM

3. Op-Ed from News and Observer

Gov. Pat McCrory’s “common sense” requirement for voters to “show ID” has become a dangerous farce. First, our lawmakers made the list of acceptable IDs so strict it threatened to disenfranchise from 100,000 to 300,000 citizens. Then, the “fix” to help those without IDs became so bureaucratic it couldn’t work. Now, the new procedure essentially lets any voter escape the ID requirement if he goes through the hassle of filling out forms.

We’re back to the original way we protected against fraud: If you lie when you sign in identifying yourself, it’s a felony.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article56681428.html#storylink=cpy


And here is a link to Democracy NC's website. They have free, downloadable voter education material. http://nc-democracy.org

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