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Hagan Seeks DOJ Action on New North Carolina Voting Law

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan is asking Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to take action against the new voting law in her home state of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Democrat wants the Justice Department to review a measure signed into law Monday by Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican. Hagan is seeking re-election to the Senate in 2014.

“Protecting the fundamental right of our citizens to vote should be among the federal government’s highest priorities,” Hagan wrote. “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.”

Among the provisions of the measure blasted by its critics are new voter-identification requirements and eliminating of pre-registration for individuals before they reach the legal voting age of 18. As the Charlotte Observer reported, lawsuits were anticipated even before McCrory signed the measure.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court struck down preclearance provisions in the Voting Rights Act, saying that the criteria for determining which jurisdictions are subject to preclearance were woefully out of date. It’s unclear how much of an appetite there is on Capitol Hill for making the needed changes.

Holder subsequently announced he would seek to require that Texas be subjected to scrutiny using a different portion of the landmark voting law.

Hagan’s letter is posted here.