Gov. Pat McCrory called the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against the North Carolina voting law "overreach and without merit."
McCrory focused his remarks on the voter ID provision, calling it mainstream and common sense. He said it is the Justice Department that is "on the fringes."
"I'm very disappointed," he said. "This lawsuit will only result in costly legal bills and drawn out legal battles for state and federal taxpayers."
McCrory declined to take questions after addressing reporters.
Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis called the federal prosecutors claims "baseless."
Reacting to the lawsuit, the two Republican legislative leaders issued a joint statement saying it is "nothing more than an obvious attempt to quash the will of the voters and hinder a hugely popular voter ID requirement."
"The law was designed to improve consistency, clarity and uniformity at the polls and it brings North Carolinas election system in line with a majority of other states," the statement continued. "We are confident it protects the right of all voters, as required by the U.S. and North Carolina Constitutions.
Meanwhile, Democrats and interest groups cheered the move, including U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who had urged the Justice Department to review the law.
Now is not the time to be putting up barriers to the right to vote, and I applaud the Justice Departments decision to challenge the new voter access restrictions in North Carolina that would, among other things, cut off a week of early voting and end same day registration, Hagan said in a statement. We shouldnt be giving everyday North Carolinians fewer opportunities to make their voices heard while we are giving corporations more opportunities to influence elections.
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