North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: State Supreme Court reconsiders 2011 redistricting | News & Observer

North Carolina Supreme Court justices heard new arguments Monday on a four-year-old case challenging the maps that set out legislative and congressional districts for this decade. At issue is whether race played a key role in how the Republican-led legislature drew maps that challengers contend reflect a widely criticized redistricting system in which lawmakers choose their voters rather than voters choosing their lawmakers. In North Carolina, the NAACP and other challengers argue that the 2011 maps are racial gerrymanders drawn to weaken the influence of black voters. In Dickson v. Rucho, filed by former state Rep. Margaret Dickson and others against state Sen. Bob Rucho and others, challengers contend that black voters were packed into districts where they already had been electing candidates of their choice – largely Democratic candidates, effectively limiting minority voting power across the state. Read More


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North Carolina: Voting maps back before State Supreme Court | WRAL

Eight months after the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of congressional and legislative voting maps drawn by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2011, the maps were back before the court on Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court in April ordered the state court to take another look at the maps in light of a decision on an Alabama redistricting case where the justices found lawmakers in that state relied too much on “mechanical” numerical percentages while drawing legislative districts in which blacks comprised a majority of the population. Those who sued over North Carolina’s maps in 2011 believe the ruling in the Alabama matter is spot on with the boundaries drawn by the General Assembly. They argue that it confirms two dozen legislative districts, along with the majority-black 1st and 12th congressional districts, should be struck down and maps redrawn quickly by the legislature for the 2016 elections. Read More

North Carolina: Redistricting foes return to state Supreme Court as justices weigh Alabama case | Daily Journal

North Carolina’s boundaries for General Assembly and congressional seats were drawn four years ago by Republican legislators and have been used in the past two election cycles, helping bolster GOP electoral gains. Yet the initial litigation that called the role race played in forming the districts discriminatory and illegal remains unresolved. Combined lawsuits filed by election and civil rights groups and Democratic voters are back at the state Supreme Court. Justices will hear arguments Monday whether they should change their majority ruling from eight months ago that upheld the maps now that there’s a new U.S. Supreme Court decision. The nation’s highest court told North Carolina state judges in April to reconsider the case through the lens of its March decision. The U.S. justices found Alabama legislators relied too much on “mechanical” numerical percentages while drawing legislative districts in which blacks comprised a majority of the population. Read More

North Carolina: Judge to decide whether voter ID case can go forward | WRAL

A Wake County judge will have to decide whether changes enacted this summer to soften North Carolina’s voter ID requirement should end a lawsuit that claims the state’s voting law violates the state constitution. Lawyers for the state and plaintiffs in the case, which include the League of Women Voters, squared off before Judge Michael Morgan Monday morning in Wake County Superior Court. “The statute the plaintiffs are challenging is no longer the statute that is on the books,” said Alec Peters, a special deputy attorney general in the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. Read More

North Carolina: Future of voter ID lawsuit heard in state court | Associated Press

A lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voter identification requirement should be allowed to continue even after the legislature added exceptions this summer easing the mandate that goes into effect next year, lawyers fighting the law told a state judge Monday. But a state attorney said the changes made to the 2013 law have addressed the accusations made in the litigation, giving registered voters who lack a qualifying photo ID a way to cast ballots in person anyway. “There is no question that the General Assembly in what they enacted answered the questions of unconstitutionality that the plaintiffs have raised,” Special Deputy Attorney General Alec Peters told Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan in a Raleigh courtroom. Peters said the lawsuit is moot and should be dismissed. Read More

North Carolina: Challenge to voter ID law set for hearing in state court | News & Observer

If a bill to move up the date of North Carolina’s presidential primary wins approval from both houses and the governor this legislative session, North Carolina voters could go to the polls as soon as March 15 in 2016. As that scheduling uncertainty hangs over the state, so does the constitutionality of a voter ID requirement set to go into effect in 2016. On Monday morning, a Wake County judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on whether to dismiss a challenge in state court to the 2013 change in election law that requires voters to show one of seven state-approved forms of photo identification before casting a ballot. Attorneys for state lawmakers and the governor contend that a legislative amendment to the requirement earlier this summer – offering voters without an approved ID the option of using a provisional ballot – made the lawsuit moot. Attorneys for the challengers disagree. Read More

North Carolina: Two sides negotiate voter ID provision | News & Observer

Attorneys on both sides of the lawsuits challenging the 2013 state election law overhaul are trying to find common ground on North Carolina’s voter ID law and plan to report the results of their efforts to a judge next month. Lawyers for the NAACP and others offered that detail in an update to the federal judge presiding over the cases that will determine which rules govern elections in North Carolina next year. They plan to report to the judge on Sept. 17 as part of a trial that could test the breadth of protections for African-Americans with claims of voter disenfranchisement two years after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder presided over three weeks of arguments in July on parts of the challenge that did not include the requirement that N.C. voters show one of six photo identification cards to cast a ballot. The legislature amended that portion of the law on the eve of the trial, setting up a request from the challengers for deeper review of the broader implications of the changes. Read More

North Carolina: Court documents: Legal challenge to N.C. voter ID could be settled | Winston-Salem Journal

North Carolina’s voter ID law may not go to trial after all, according to court documents filed Monday. The recent federal trial on North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act that ended about two weeks ago did not deal with the state’s photo ID requirement that goes into effect in 2016. It only dealt with other provisions of the law, which reduced the early voting period, eliminated same-day voter registration, prohibited county election officials from counting ballots cast in the wrong precinct but correct county, and abolished preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder decided that the legal challenge to the photo ID requirement would be dealt with later. Schroeder’s decision came after state Republican legislators approved an amendment easing the photo ID requirement. Read More

North Carolina: Voter ID law topic of negotiations | News & Observer

North Carolina’s voter ID law will be the topic of discussion this week among attorneys on each side of the lawsuits challenging the 2013 state election law overhaul. Lawyers for the NAACP and others offered that detail in an update to the federal judge presiding over the cases that will determine which rules govern elections in North Carolina next year. They plan to provide a report of their efforts to find common ground in a report to the judge on Sept. 17 as part of a trial could test the breadth of protections for African-Americans with claims of voter disenfranchisement two years after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder presided over arguments during three weeks in July on parts of the challenge that did not include the requirement that N.C. voters show one of six photo identification cards to cast a ballot. The legislature amended that portion of the law on the eve of the trial, setting up a request from the challengers for deeper review of the broader implications of the changes. Read More

North Carolina: Court documents: Legal challenge to voter ID could be settled | Winston-Salem Journal

North Carolina’s voter ID law may not go to trial after all, according to court documents filed Monday. The recent federal trial on North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act that ended about two weeks ago did not deal with the state’s photo ID requirement that goes into effect in 2016. It only dealt with other provisions of the law, which reduced the early voting period, eliminated same-day voter registration, prohibited county election officials from counting ballots cast in the wrong precinct but correct county, and abolished preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder decided that the legal challenge to the photo ID requirement would be dealt with later. Schroeder’s decision came after state Republican legislators approved an amendment easing the photo ID requirement. The amendment allows voters without photo ID to sign a declaration saying they had a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID and also enables voters to use a photo ID that has expired as long as it has not been more than four years. State Republican leaders proposed the changes less than a month before the federal trial was to start. Read More