Fox News fans are calling for host Shepard Smith to be fired after he claimed during his show on Wednesday that voter ID laws are discriminatory and are “designed” by Republican states to discourage minorities from voting.
According to Western Journalism, Smith made the comment while discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 decision not to reinstate provisions of North Carolina’s voter ID law during his afternoon program. This split decision meant the lower court’s ruling to throw out the law would stand, so for the first time, voters in North Carolina will not have to prove their identity come November.
During the segment, Smith claimed that asking citizens to show identification is discriminatory.
“North Carolina had put in one of those ‘You have to show an ID’ rules, which so often in Republican states are designed to keep some minorities from coming out and being able to vote, and they tried to reduce the number of voting days,” Smith said. “The U.S. Supreme Court says that will not happen. Those rules will not go into effect in North Carolina this cycle.”
Backlash against Smith for these comments was swift.
In a statement about the Supreme Court’s decision, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory described his state’s voter ID requirement as a “common-sense voter ID law.”
“North Carolina has been denied basic voting rights already granted to more than 30 other states to protect the integrity of one person, one vote,” McCrory stated.
North Carolina state attorney Paul Clement told reporters that the lower court’s ruling “prohibited North Carolina from enforcing a voter ID law that is actually more sensitive to disparate impact concerns than those in force in many of its sister states.”
CNN reported that North Carolina asked the court to reinstate just three common sense provisions of the law before November. These provisions were things like requiring first time voters to present one of eight different forms of identification, reducing early voting from a 17 day period to 10 days, and eliminating the state’s preregistration practice, which allowed 16-year-olds to preregister, despite the fact that they were ineligible to vote.
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