Representative G. K. Butterfield

Representing the 1st District of North Carolina

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Butterfield Reacts to Enactment of North Carolina Voter ID Bill, Sends Letter to U.S. Attorney General

Aug 12, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) expressed his extreme disappointment with Governor Pat McCrory for signing into law House Bill 589, the Voter Information Verification Act, which makes sweeping and regressive reforms to voting laws in the state.  In reaction to the bill’s enactment, Butterfield said, “Governor McCrory and his party members have destroyed the progressive reputation for voting inclusion this state has long held.  With one stroke of his pen, McCrory has effectively reversed 30 years of progress and reinstated practices similar to the discriminatory ‘Southern strategy’ adopted by the Republican party in the 60’s and 70’s.  Without question, today is a shameful day for Republicans in North Carolina.”

Following today’s bill signing, Butterfield sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to use all available options to challenge North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act.

In his letter, Butterfield wrote, “I respectfully request your urgent attention to the Voter Information Verification Act that was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on August 12, 2013.  I ask that you take swift and decisive action by using any legal mechanisms at your disposal to protect voting rights for North Carolinians.  

“This unjust and discriminatory law will have disastrous and long-term effects on the ability of minorities, new and college-age voters, the elderly, and the disabled to exercise their Constitutional right to vote in free and fair elections.  The law passed by the North Carolina legislature and signed by Governor McCrory claims to secure and streamline elections in North Carolina.  But its ultimate impact will be extreme voter suppression.”

Last month, Butterfield wrote Governor McCrory urging him to veto the bill and promising to demand the U.S Justice Department challenge the new law because it violates the Voting Rights Act and the United States Constitution. 

Butterfield’s full letter to Holder follows.

 

August 12, 2013

 

The Honorable Eric Holder

Attorney General of the United States

U. S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001

 

Dear Attorney General Holder:

I respectfully request your urgent attention to the Voter Information Verification Act that was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on August 12, 2013.  I ask that you take swift and decisive action by using any legal mechanisms at your disposal to protect voting rights for North Carolinians.  

This unjust and discriminatory law will have disastrous and long-term effects on the ability of minorities, new and college-age voters, the elderly, and the disabled to exercise their Constitutional right to vote in free and fair elections.  The law passed by the North Carolina legislature and signed by Governor McCrory claims to secure and streamline elections in North Carolina.  But its ultimate impact will be extreme voter suppression.

Like you, I have fought my whole life for equity in voting.  I spent my entire legal career advocating for civil rights and helped to expand rights for minorities.  Now, as a Member of Congress, my fight continues.  I simply cannot stand idly by and watch overtly discriminatory and racially motivated initiatives go unchallenged.  I am outraged.

I applaud your courageous efforts in Texas to fight similar attempts at voter disenfranchisement.  The right to vote is sacred in this country.  Those whose chief goal is to maintain political power at the cost of minorities, new and college-age voters, the elderly, and the disabled must not be allowed to continue. 

Their blatant discrimination and systematic disenfranchisement must be stopped.

I strongly urge you to utilize any and all legal avenues at your disposal to fight this horrible law that turns back the clock on a generation of progress for voting rights.

Thank you very much.  

 

Very truly yours,

 

G. K. Butterfield

Member of Congress