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PNS Daily Newscast - December 18, 2018 


Senate reports detail Russian influence via social media on the 2016 election. Also on Tuesday's rundown: North Carolina jurors reject the death penalty for a second consecutive year; and Medicaid expansion proves important to rural Kentuckians.

Daily Newscasts

Civil Rights Groups Rally in Raleigh Today Against Voter ID

Rev. William Barber is to be one of the headliners at the rally today in Bicentennial Square in Raleigh. (Poor People's Campaign)
Rev. William Barber is to be one of the headliners at the rally today in Bicentennial Square in Raleigh. (Poor People's Campaign)
November 27, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. — Hundreds of people are expected to fill the galleries in both houses of the state Legislature for the opening of the lame duck session today - part of a rally called the Moral Day of Action in Raleigh.

The groups are protesting the implementation of two constitutional amendments passed by voters in November on voter ID requirements and a cap on taxes. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, head of the North Carolina NAACP, argues lawmakers did not have the constitutional authority to put the measures on the ballot, because the Legislature was formed under gerrymandered districts that were declared unconstitutional and are only in place until new district maps can be drawn.

"This usurper government should not have been making these laws and putting these amendments on the ballot,” Spearman said. “They should not have been able to do it in the first place, and we're hoping to be able to get those rendered null and void."

The North Carolina NAACP has filed for a summary judgment in Superior Court to rescind the amendments, but the ruling has not yet come down. Conservatives defend the amendments, saying they're necessary to keep taxes low and prevent fraudulent voting.

Tuesday’s event will begin at 10 a.m. on the Bicentennial Mall, and will be headlined by Spearman and Rev. William Barber.

Joyce Hobson Johnson, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, said the Voter ID law is designed to deter low-income voters, and will enshrine discrimination into the constitution.

"Some people just do not have a driver's license. They may be disabled and unable to drive. They may choose not to drive or they may not be able to drive because of financial circumstances that they are burdened with,” Hobson Johnson said. “It's another effort to minimize the desire to vote on decisions in this state."

She said if the amendments are allowed to stand, the Legislature should allow alternative forms of identification such as a student ID or a water bill.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NC