North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: Voters file lawsuit challenging state’s latest redistricting | Greensboro News & Record

A group of voters from throughout North Carolina have filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that the state’s legislative districts were racially gerrymandered in violation of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit is only the latest legal action challenging a 2011 redistricting. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court directed the N.C. Supreme Court to take another look at how the legislative districts were drawn. The state Supreme Court in December had ruled in favor of the current legislative districts in a lawsuit that was originally filed in Wake County Superior Court. Read More


North Carolina: Reports question voting rights efforts | News & Observer

Newly analyzed data raise questions about whether state agencies are failing to register voters, as they are required to do by federal law. One report found 261 voters who had registered at state Division of Motor Vehicles offices were given provisional ballots because poll workers couldn’t find a record of their registrations. Another analysis shows a drop of 30,000 voter registrations at public assistance agencies. Taken together, the possible breakdown in registration has alarmed voting-rights advocates. One public policy group, the New York-based Demos, has given the state formal notice that it will sue if North Carolina agencies don’t begin complying with federal law within 90 days. Read More

North Carolina: Lawmakers Push Partisan School Board Elections | WFAE

Most of North Carolina’s local school boards are elected without any party labels attached to candidate’s names. But state lawmakers are now considering bills that would make elections for five school boards partisan. It’s something of a trend. Barry Gold first heard about a move to make elections for the Rutherford County School Board partisan from someone in Raleigh. “I think that the first reaction I had was just puzzlement,” says Gold. After all, he’s the chairman of the school board and had never heard anyone raise this concern. Read More

North Carolina: Thousands of ballots not counted under new voting law, watchdog group says | WRAL

A North Carolina elections watchdog group says changes to the state’s voting law in 2013 prevented thousands of ballots cast by residents across the state from counting in last year’s general election. A report out this month from Democracy North Carolina, a nonpartisan research organization, says the elimination of provisions allowing same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting required elections officials to eliminate more than 2,300 provisional ballots cast by voters in 2014. Before the General Assembly passed changes to the state’s law in 2013, which will also phase in photo identification requirements for voters in 2016, registered voters outside their assigned precincts could still have their top choices counted as long as they voted in their county. Same-day registration also allowed residents to correct problems before casting a ballot. Read More

North Carolina: Paper trail indicates DHHS aware of voting issue despite response | WRAL

When a group of voting rights advocates notified the state Department of Health and Human Services recently that North Carolina may not be living up to federal requirements that social services agencies help their clients register to vote, a spokeswoman indicated the department was surprised. “This administration has always supported increasing voter registration and will fully review any alleged variance along with our processes to determine if the Department needs to revise its procedures,” Alexandra Lefebvre, a DHHS press assistant, emailed Friday in response to both verbal and emailed requests for comment. “Given the gravity of this issue, we wish these activist organizations had approached the Department sooner when they first had concerns about the registration process.” That profession of surprise is a much different response than WRAL News received from the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Friday, where officials indicated that they were not only aware of the problem but said they had been prodding DHHS for years to address the issue. Read More

North Carolina: Suit threatened over voting access; DHHS, Elections Board say they’ll investigate | News & Observer

Four national and state voting-rights organizations are threatening to sue North Carolina for what they contend are Gov. Pat McCrory administration’s violations of a federal law that requires the state to help poor people register to vote. The coalition gave written notice to the State Board of Elections and the state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, triggering a 90-day period for the state agencies to comply with the law or face a lawsuit. Read More

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North Carolina: State Supreme Court sets August hearing in challenge to legislative and congressional redistricting | The Charlotte Observer

The N.C. Supreme Court issued notice on Thursday that it would hear arguments in August on the challenges to the 2011 redistricting maps outlining legislative and congressional districts across North Carolina. The notice comes nearly three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to North Carolina’s highest court with instructions to reconsider a December decision that upheld the maps. The challengers of the maps had requested a hearing in June, but the scheduled ruled on Thursday sets arguments for Aug. 31. Read More

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North Carolina: State Asks For More Time In Redistricting Case | WFDD

The architects of the state’s electoral maps want more time to respond to a Supreme Court-imposed review. It’s just the latest twist in a long-running dispute over how North Carolina’s political districts are drawn. Now the state officials responsible for drawing the maps have asked the court not to expedite the schedule, saying they need more time to prepare. They argue justices should allow at least two months to file opening briefs and replies. Read More

North Carolina: Proposed voter ID rules released | Associated Press

The public can now comment on proposed rules governing how precinct officials will determine if someone has the required photo identification to vote in person starting in 2016. Draft regulations from the State Board of Elections were released Friday. There will be nine public comment hearings across the state, the first on June 3 in Raleigh. Written comments are due by June 30. Read More

North Carolina: Lawmakers tell state Supreme Court no need to hurry in redistricting case | NC Policy Watch

In papers filed with the state Supreme Court yesterday, lawmakers told the justices there was no reason to expedite proceedings in the North Carolina redistricting case, Dickson v. Rucho, sent back here last week by the U.S. Supreme Court — at least not within the time frame that challengers to the state’s redistricting plan want. That order by the nation’s highest court came on the heels of its earlier decision in a similar case out of Alabama, in which the justices held that the Voting Rights Act required lawmakers to assess whether minorities had the ability to elect a preferred candidate of choice and to draw voting lines in order to facilitate that goal — not, as Alabama had done, to achieve specific numerical minority percentages. North Carolina lawmakers operated under the same mistaken premise when designing the state’s 2011 plan, according to challengers. Read More