Charlotte, NC-- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a fiercely contested initiative making sweeping changes in how and when the state's voters can cast their ballots.
Hours after Monday's signing, the American Civil Liberties Union announced it and two other groups had filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation.
The Republican-backed measure was opposed since it was proposed.There was no bill-signing ceremony. McCrory's office issued a statement saying he signed the legislation and posted a 95-second message on YouTube giving his reasons.
Republicans have said the legislation is meant to prevent voter fraud, which they claim is both rampant and undetected. But non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and libertarians suggested the true goal was to suppress voter turnout, especially among blacks, the young, the elderly and the poor.
NC Attorney General Roy Cooper sent the Governor a letter after legislators wrapped up for the year.
Monday, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 92 year-old calling the law discriminatory. Attorneys representing the woman released this statement: "Our plaintiff, 92-year-old Rosanell Eaton, was one of the first African Americans to vote in North Carolina, registering in the 1940s in the days of literacy tests and violent intimidation from the Ku Klux Klan. Despite having voted for more than 70 years, under the new law's photo ID requirement she may not be able to vote in the next election. Born at home, Ms. Eaton has a current North Carolina driver's license, but the name on her certified birth certificate does not match the name on her driver's license, or the name on her voter registration card - which would disqualify her from automatically getting the voter ID card required under the new law."
Governor McCrory defended the legislation in an interview with WFMY News 2 on Tuesday.
Governor McCrory said, "I'm doing this because, as governor, I have to protect the integrity of the voter box. We've got loopholes a mile wide right now where people can take advantage of not having a required ID to vote like they have to have in 32 or 33 other states."
Later, McCrory added, "I think you're rather naïve if you don't think there is anything wrong with our electoral process... We're a big state now and we have big money coming into the state. When big money comes into a state for elections, whether it be presidential or gubernatorial, or otherwise, you have to be careful. We're going to be careful and do it right."
WFMY News 2, WRAL, AP