North Carolina Politicians Target College Students’ Right to Vote

League of Women Voters Calls on Department of Justice and Congress to Act without Delay

Raleigh, North Carolina - In yet another assault on voters, officials in North Carolina have announced plans to shut down early voting sites and challenge student voter residency on historically black colleges. The League of Women Voters of North Carolina urges the Department of Justice (DOJ) to do everything in their power to protect the voters of North Carolina and calls on Congress to repair and restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA). “Last week we saw the most anti-voter legislation in the country be signed into law and this week we are seeing an attack on college and university students’ voting rights. The threat to voting is real and anti-democratic forces are upon us,” said Jo Nicholas, President of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. 

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the: Chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Elections plans to eliminate an early voting site at Winston-Salem State University; Watauga Board of Elections voted to close the voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone; and, Pasquotank County Board of Elections officials voted to deny an Elizabeth City State University senior from running for city council, ruling that his on-campus address couldn't be used to establish residency.

Forty-eight years ago this week President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the historic Voting Rights Act (VRA) into law. Unfortunately, earlier this summer the U.S. Supreme Court erased fundamental protections against racial discrimination in voting that have been critical in protecting our democracy. “Nowhere is the detrimental impact of this decision more evident than here in North Carolina. Politicians wasted no time in implementing new barriers for all voters and are now specifically targeting racial minorities and college students. Without the protections of the VRA, North Carolina’s politicians are free to allow our dark prejudicial past to rush into the present,” added Ms. Nicholas.

“The League of Women Voters of North Carolina, along with our coalition partners, is doing everything in our power to protect our democracy and ensure that all citizens have access to free and fair elections. Last week we joined with our coalition partners in legal challenges to the new voter suppression law and this week we once again call on the DOJ to use all means at their disposal to see that these anti-voter laws and voting changes get swept into the dustbin of history where they belong and we call on Congress to act swiftly to restore the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act,” concluded Ms. Nicholas.

Contact: Jo Nicholas, lwvncpresident1@gmail.com, (910) 673-3604

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.