Voter ID lawsuit

A picture of an 'I Voted' sticker.
Vox Efx / Flickr

A federal appeals court has found that North Carolina's voter identification law was enacted "with discriminatory intent" and must be blocked.

An opinion issued Friday by a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reverses a lower-court's ruling that had upheld the law.

NC NAACP, Voter ID, Ben and Jerry's
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

North Carolina Central University was the back-drop for the unveiling of a new flavor of ice cream by Ben and Jerry’s.  It’s called “Empower Mint.”

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield stood side-by-side with North Carolina NAACP’s the Reverend William Barber to reveal the new flavor, with a voting rights theme.

A picture of a voting sign.
Tom Arthur / Wikipedia

A federal judge in Winston-Salem began hearing arguments Monday in a case challenging North Carolina’s new voting law. It is the second time U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder has presided over a trial involving the controversial legislation. This week’s arguments deal with whether it is constitutional to ask people to show photo identification in order to vote, along with how state officials are educating voters about the new law.

New Laws In North Carolina

Jan 7, 2016
N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

A new year means new laws on the books. The state now requires doctors performing abortions after the 16th week to send ultrasounds to state health officials. Supporters say it protects women’s health, but opponents say the law violates patient privacy and is meant to intimidate physicians.

Plus, when you head to the polls in March, you’ll now need a photo ID due to a law passed in 2013 that goes into effect this year. 

Voter Sticker
Vox Efx on Flickr

The NAACP is seeking an injunction to halt the state's new voter identification law in the March primary elections.

Litigation over the law was put on hold until January, after legislators amended it this summer. Under the revised law, voters who don't have state-issued IDs must fill out a form explaining why they couldn't get one.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber says an amendment to the law now requires voters without IDs to fill out a form explaining why they couldn't get one. Barber says that's confusing and intimidating.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

A federal court judge in Winston-Salem is scheduled to hear arguments Friday on whether to throw out parts of three lawsuits that challenge North Carolina’s 2013 election law changes.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder is expected to hear from attorneys on whether he should dismiss portions of the suits that challenge the state’s new requirement for voters to show qualifying photo identification at polling stations.

An image of a person rallying outside a voting rights trial in Winston-Salem
Kimberly Pierce Cartwright / WNCU Public Radio 90.7 FM

The first week of a federal trial challenging North Carolina’s voting regulations is wrapping up in Winston-Salem. The plaintiffs - a group including the U.S. Department of Justice,  the NAACP, and League of Women Voters - aim to prove whether House Bill 589, enacted in 2013 by a Republican-led state legislature discriminated against minority voters.

Voting sign
kristinausk / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal trial is underway in a case challenging North Carolina's elections law. Opponents say provisions limiting early voting amount to voter suppression that especially affects African-Americans. 

Supporters say the measure prevents fraud. The decision from Judge Thomas D. Schroeder could have big implications for voting laws across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WFAE reporter Michael Tomsic about the latest.

Image of Ken Rudin, the Political Junkie
kenrudinpolitics.com

The legal challenge against North Carolina's voter ID law goes to trial next week. It's the culmination of two years' worth of arguments over the elections law passed in 2013.

Meanwhile, an early poll shows billionaire Donald Trump is the most popular Republican presidential candidate in North Carolina. 

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

A federal appeals court has suspended parts of North Carolina’s new voting law, saying it may disproportionately affect black voters. State lawmakers are already asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

The ruling will allow voters to register on the same day they cast a ballot during early voting, and to vote outside of their assigned precinct.

Early Voting
Leoneda Inge

Opponents of the state's new voting law are planning their next steps after a judge refused to put the law on hold for the November election. A district judge on Friday denied a preliminary injunction for a law limiting the number of early voting days and getting rid of same-day registration at the polls.

Advocates will decide this week whether or not to appeal the decision. Either way, leaders say they are directing their attention to boots-on-the-ground efforts.

North Carolina's voter ID law has come under fire in the courts, challenged by lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, the NAACP and voting rights groups. A judge will decide whether parts of the law should be implemented or delayed. Jeff Tiberii of WUNC has been following the hearing, and he wraps up recent developments and possible outcomes.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

An expert witness returns to the stand this morning on day three of a federal hearing challenging the state's new voting law. MIT Professor Charles Stewart testified Tuesday that the state's new voting law disproportionately burdens and affects African Americans.

State House member Rick Glazier also testified. He called the measure "reminiscent of the Jim Crow Era" and gave a passionate description of how the bill was hastily moved through the General Assembly.

Testimony is set to continue in a federal courtroom today where plaintiffs are asking a judge to halt part of the state's new voter law. Former Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert will be on the stand when the court returns from recess.

He testified Monday that expanded early voting in the state led to an increase in African American voters, a smoother Election Day process and even savings for Guilford County of as much as $3 million.

voting pins and buttons
YardsaleDan on Flickr

Lawsuits challenging North Carolina's Voter ID law are moving forward in court. The US Department of Justice, the North Carolina NAACP and the League of Women voters are among the groups suing the state over a law passed by the General Assembly last year.

The law does the following: