Under the Dome

November 5, 2013

Advocacy group says women unfairly hurt by new voting law

An advocacy organization says North Carolina’s new voting laws will disproportionately affect women.

An advocacy organization says North Carolina’s new voting laws will disproportionately affect women.

The analysis from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice found that 64 percent of the 318,000 registered voters who may not have a state-issued photo identification are women, while 36 percent are men. According to state elections data, women are roughly 54 percent of the state’s registered voters.

“North Carolina women voters are disproportionately affected by virtually every part of the state’s new voting law,” said Shoshannah Sayers, the deputy director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. “Our research clearly demonstrates that women voters are highly likely to experience new challenges when they go to the polls.”

The coalition is one of the organizations suing the state to challenge the new election law, which includes the much-discussed photo ID requirement for voting at the polls in 2016. Other groups contend the law will disproportionately affect minority voters. Republicans dismiss both suggestions, arguing the new restrictions are necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process.

The exact number of people who may not have the proper identification is unknown. To arrive at its numbers, the coalition looked at figures state lawmakers studied during the debate on the legislation. The state study found as many as 318,000 registered voters who could not be matched with driver’s license data.

Of the women possibly without IDs, 57 percent were white and 44 percent were nonwhite. Black women will particularly be affected, the coalition’s analysis suggests. They make up 24 percent of all women voters but 34 percent of those without the state-issued ID.

Two other provisions in the law eliminating same-day registration and curtailing one-stop early voting may also disproportionately impede women, the group found. Read the full report here.

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