On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: North Carolina Voter and Election Laws After Shelby

This time On the Road at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, host Joe Patrice speaks with North Carolina House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Paul Stam about the Post-Shelby Voter and Election Laws panel. Paul states that the panel talked mostly about the North Carolina voter reform resulting from the Shelby County v. Holder case. He explains that the North Carolina voter ID law is virtually identical to one that was approved in Texas a few days ago and wonders why the Department of Justice is taking two different positions in two different circuits. Paul recalls that when they attempted redistricting for Congress, while Section V was still in effect, a U.S. Supreme Court decision said that they had to do majority minority districts if they could. He juxtaposes this decision with the Department of Justice’s later disapproval of their redistricting as a result of a subsequent case to illustrate how difficult redistricting can be with laws changing every 2-3 years. Paul reveals that one of the most disappointing parts of the ruling for him was its reform of their early voting and that under this Fourth Circuit ruling they are going to have to go back to more voting days, but with shorter operating hours (thus making voting less convenient for all voters). He closes the interview with reflections on his decade of service in leadership and a brief discussion of what he has planned for the future.

Representative Paul Stam is currently serving his eighth (and last) term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He was first elected to that position in 1989 and again in 2003. He has served as the House Republican Leader (2007-2010), the House Majority Leader (2011-2012), and is the Speaker Pro Tem (2013-present).