North Carolinians marching to protest voter-ID laws must present a valid photo ID to participate in an NAACP-hosted protest against voter-ID laws in Raleigh on Saturday.
The central claim among the protesters is that the voter-ID laws disenfranchise certain segments of the voting population, particularly minority voters and poor voters.
According to official NAACP flyers passed out at the rally, protesters must carry the precise kind of ID that they would be expected to present at the voting booth.
— Stacey-SisterToldjah (@sistertoldjah) February 8, 2014
The march, dubbed the “Moral March” by its leader Rev. William Barber II, who called for a “wave of civil disobedience” while railing against education cuts and the voter ID law, is the latest of a series of protests held against the state’s GOP-controlled legislature. Over 900 “peaceful” and “non-violent” protesters have been arrested since the beginning of the state’s legislative session last January. Police have taken a handful of them into custody each week after they obstructed legislators within the capitol building.
Barber also drew criticism in January for labeling South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the first African American to serve the state as a senator since 1881, a “ventriloquist’s dummy.”
“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy,” Barber said, according to South Carolina’s The State. “[T]he extreme right wing down [in South Carolina] finds a black guy to be senator, and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party.” (RELATED: NC NAACP president: Sen. Tim Scott is ‘a ventriloquist’s dummy’)
Chairman of the House Elections Committee and North Carolina Republican state Rep. David Lewis criticized the protesters for their “hypocrisy.”
“I find it extremely hypocritical that when nearly 70 percent of North Carolinians across all political spectrums support the idea that one present photo identification when going to the polls, the NC NAACP has filed suit in court to block this common-sense idea,” said Lewis in a statement to The Daily Caller. “However, the NC NAACP requires their protesters to maintain valid photo identification on their person throughout the march. The idea that Chairman William Barber and his followers find it more important to carry their photo identification with them when marching than when electing the President of the United States is reprehensible.”
Back in 2011, a poll conducted by Elon University found that 75 percent of North Carolinians supported the state’s voter ID law, and 80 percent believed it was fair to all voters.
The North Carolina NAACP chapter was closed at press time. Calls made to the chapter’s public policy director were rejected after an automated message informed TheDC the voicemail box could not accept any more messages.