11-17-2017  3:01 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Faith Karimi and Joe Sutton CNN

(CNN) -- North Carolina lawmakers passed a measure that requires residents to present photo identification to vote, joining a handful of other states that have approved the controversial proposal.


The Republican-dominated House approved the measure late Thursday night , saying it will help prevent voter fraud. It passed the state's Senate a day earlier.

"A measure that restores confidence in our election process and ensures voters are who they say they are is a no-brainer -- and nearly three-quarters of North Carolinians agree," said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. "This bill will bring North Carolina in line with the majority of other states that already require voter ID."

In the past two years, at least 11 states have approved laws requiring voters to show identification at voting booths.

'Attacks democracy at its core'

But critics slammed it as an effort to disenfranchise poor, minority and disabled voters

It "attacks democracy at its core" by making it harder for eligible voters, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said.

"Many of these restrictions, such as eliminating pre-registration for 16 and 17-year-olds, and disallowing use of college IDs at the polls, will severely discourage young people from participating in elections," the group said in a statement.

"Others, such as shortening early voting and making it more difficult to set up satellite polling stations will be extremely burdensome for elderly and disabled voters who rely on such methods to cast their votes."

It listed what it described as "harsh provisions" in the measure, including eliminating same-day voter registration, shortening early voting and eliminating state-mandated voter registration drives.

Proponents of the bill say it will stop voter fraud, asserting that having a valid, government-issued photo identification is a reasonable, modern-day necessity.

'Common-sense provision'

A poll this year showed that more than 72 percent of North Carolina residents support requiring voters to show photo ID before being casting their ballot, according to Berger.

He described it as a "hugely popular, common-sense" provision.

Last month, the Supreme Court voted to halt the enforcement requirements of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required some states with a history of voter discrimination to get "precleared" by the federal government before making any changes to voting laws. North Carolina was among those states.

The high court's ruling essentially allows states to make adjustments to voting laws without "preclearance" from the federal government.

Requests by Texas and Mississippi for clearance in their voter ID laws were pending with the federal government when the high court struck down Section 5.

Federal government steps in

Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday expressed displeasure with last month's change in the Voting Rights Act.

"For nearly five decades, ... preclearance served as a potent tool for addressing inequities in our election systems. Although preclearance originated during the Civil Rights Movement -- and was informed by a history of discrimination -- the conduct that it was intended to address continues to this day," he said.

Holder said he has directed the Justice Department to ask a Texas federal court to subject the state to a condition similar to preclearance rights. He said there is evidence of racial discrimination in the state, and thus it should be forced to go through a federal preapproval before implementing voting changes.

He said this will not be the Justice Department's last action to protect voting tights.

It will continue monitoring jurisdictions nationwide for changes that may hamper these voting rights, Holder said.

States that may wish to implement their voter ID laws may still face another hurdle, as civil rights groups and even the federal government could seek legal action to block the laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, another part of the law that works to prevent discrimination.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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