By a 2-1 vote, the North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday reinstated two North Carolina Constitutional amendments — one requiring a photo ID to vote and the other setting a 7% cap on state income taxes. The two amendments were approved by voters in 2018.
The decision reverses a decision by Superior Court Judge G. Bryan Collins, Jr., who in 2019 agreed with the NAACP that the amendments were put on the ballot by a politically gerrymandered General Assembly.
The decision isn't final--an appeal will send the matter to the NC Supreme Court, so no photo ID will be required to vote in this year's General Election November 3rd.
The legislature had Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate in the 2017-2018 lawmaking session that put the proposed amendments on the ballot along with four others. Two of them were rejected by voters, but those two and two others passed.
The photo ID amendment, according to the NAACP, was designed to make it harder for lower-income people and minority groups to vote, as they are less likely to have a current photo ID.
Tuesday’s ruling was along party lines. Judges Chris Dillon and Donna Stroud, both Republicans, were the majority; Democratic Judge Reuben Young dissented.
Young said the NAACP didn't challenge the other functions of the gerrymandered legislature but was correct in challenging the Constitutional amendments because they can change core principles and fundamentals of how the state governs.