North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: State wants federal judge to rule on Voter ID before March primaries | Winston-Salem Journal: Elections

State attorneys want a federal judge to dismiss the legal challenge to North Carolina’s voter-identification law before the March 2016 presidential primary, according to court documents filed Wednesday. And though the plaintiffs, including the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, said they hoped to settle the matter before a trial, state attorneys said there’s no chance of that. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23 before U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder. The state NAACP, the U.S. Justice Department and others sued the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over 2013’s Voter Information Verification Act. The law’s most well-known provision is the photo ID requirement, but the law also reduced the number of early-voting days from 17 to 10, eliminated same-day voter registration and got rid of out-of-precinct provisional voting. Read More

North Carolina: Hearing set on Voter ID legal challenge | Winston-Salem Journal

The voter ID law will be back in federal court later this month. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder plans to hold a hearing Oct. 23 to get an update on efforts to settle the legal claims against the photo ID requirement. The N.C. NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and others filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act, which was passed by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2013. The law not only has a photo ID requirement but also includes a number of other provisions, such as the reduction of early voting days and the elimination of same-day voter registration. Plaintiffs allege that the law discriminates against blacks, Hispanics, poor people and college students. Read More

North Carolina: Trouble Seems to be Brewing in North Carolina | Frontloading HQ

North Carolina may or may not be a microcosm of the national Republican Party, but one thing is for sure, the disagreements between the two chambers in the North Carolina General Assembly are not confined to just the legislature. Now, Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican Party in the Tar Heel state are involved, and the presidential primary is at the heart of at least one of the feuds (for lack of a better term).The controversial presidential primary legislation that narrowly passed the House after a less contentious trip through the Senate last week has drawn the ire of both the governor and the North Carolina Republican Party. Neither is seemingly pleased with the rider added to HB 373 during conference committee stage that has opened the door to legislative caucuses creating campaign committees to raise money (thus circumventing the state parties). That raises the potential for a veto though Governor McCrory can allow the bill to become law without his signature as well. A veto would mean that North Carolina would not shift into a March 15 primary date and would end up non-compliant with Republican National Committee delegate selection rules (tethered to the South Carolina Republican primary). Read More

North Carolina: Voter ID lawsuit can proceed in state court, judge rules | News & Observer

A Wake County judge has refused a request from state lawmakers to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Voter ID requirement. Judge Mike Morgan issued his ruling on Wednesday, almost four weeks after a hearing on the matter. Lawmakers amended the state’s Voter ID requirement this legislative session on the eve of a trial in federal court. Attorneys for state lawmakers and the governor contended at the August hearing in state court that the legislative amendment to the requirement – offering voters without an approved ID the option of using a provisional ballot – made the lawsuit moot. Attorneys for the challengers disagreed and Morgan found in their favor. In the lawsuit before Morgan, the League of Women Voters, Randolph Institute and several voters argue that lawmakers overstepped the bounds of the state constitution in 2013 when they added the ID requirement as part of an elections law overhaul. Read More

North Carolina: Senate proposes detailed plan for combined March primary | News & Observer

As North Carolina lawmakers look to move up the presidential and statewide primary elections to March 15, everything election-related must move up with it, including the candidate filing period. The state Senate proposed a plan Wednesday to hold the filing period from Dec. 1 through Dec. 21. Sen. Bob Rucho, a Mecklenburg County Republican, said there will be as much or more time for candidates to file with the board of elections and for the board to send out absentee ballots. He proposed the plan during a Senate Rules Committee meeting, saying they would not take a vote yet but wanted input from committee members to include in the final conference report. Read More

North Carolina: A pivotal battleground on fate of voting rights | Charlotte Post

Two pivotal court cases in North Carolina will determine the balance of political power in the state for years to come, and may signal the future of voting rights nationwide. In the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision in Shelby County vs. Holder that gutted Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, North Carolina legislators passed H.B. 589, which shortened early voting by a week, eliminated same day registration during the early voting period, prohibited voters from casting out-of-precinct provisional ballots, expanded the ability to challenge voters at the polls, removed the pre-registration program for 16- and 17-year-olds and implemented a strict photo ID requirement. Lawmakers eased the photo ID requirement leading up to N.C. NAACP vs. McCrory. In that case, lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that H.B. 589 discriminates against black and other minority voters. Read More

North Carolina: Single primary could save millions | Gaston Gazette

For more than a year, election officials have been planning on two primary elections — one in March for the presidential contenders, and a second in May for seats on everything from the school board to the U.S. Senate. Now, House and Senate leaders say they are considering a shift to just one primary that would take place March 15, the same time as the presidential primary. Adam Ragan, who leads Gaston County’s Board of Elections, said a single March primary could pose problems. “Logistically, I think it would be very difficult to get all the ducks lined up,” said Ragan, who heard about the possibility of a single primary election last week. Read More


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: Senate minority leader raises questions about primary plan | The Charlotte Observer

Lawmakers in the state Senate were surprised when the House voted Wednesday to hold off on agreement with a much-discussed plan to create two primary elections – the presidential primary in March and the statewide races in May. House Republicans who are in the majority are discussing combining all the primary elections into the earlier March 15 date, saying it would save an estimated $4 million to $6 million by not holding a second primary. Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat, said the concern about the extra cost had already been discussed. He speculates that House Republicans have another agenda. Read More

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