North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: Federal courts reject challenge brought by Clinton campaign counsel to early voting plans in 5 North Carolina counties | The Charlotte Observer

A federal appeals court panel has rejected a request by a group of North Carolina voters for modifications to early-voting plans in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth, Nash and New Hanover counties. Early voting starts Thursday in North Carolina. Marc Elias — a Washington, D.C.-based attorney involved in several high-profile voting rights cases and counsel to Hillary Clinton’s campaign — represented a group of voters who filed their request in early October, less than three weeks before early voting was to start. Read More


North Carolina: Drawing the line on the most gerrymandered district in America | The Guardian

On the outskirts of Charlotte, it’s the last day of early voting for the congressional race in North Carolina’s 12th district at the Mountain Island library, and there are no lines for the polling stations. Instead, volunteers outnumbered the voters. It was early voting time, but not for a race nearly as high-profile as the presidential election. Only 266 people turned out in June to the polls to pick the district’s next member of Congress. After the election, once all the votes were tallied, only 7% of more than 500,000 registered voters cast ballots. “Turnout was very, very low,” said Carol Johnson, a poll worker and an employee for the city of Charlotte. “Maybe people didn’t know. Maybe they weren’t interested.” Or maybe people have grown disenfranchised after living in what has long been considered the most gerrymandered district in the United States. Twenty-five years ago, North Carolina lawmakers drew the 12th district, creating the second majority-minority district in a state with a dark history of denying black residents their voting rights. That line-drawing is what is known as gerrymandering, or manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts to favor a particular result. Read More

North Carolina: Democrats win extension of voter registration deadline | Reuters

A state judge in North Carolina gave residents in counties hit hard by Hurricane Matthew five extra days to register to vote after Democrats sued to get an extension to Friday’s deadline, while a federal judge ordered an extension in one Georgia county. The Democratic Party in North Carolina challenged the state election board’s refusal to extend the cutoff date, saying in its suit that thousands of people would have been deprived of their fundamental right to vote in the Nov. 8 election if Friday’s deadline was not extended by at least five days. The judge ordered an extension to next Wednesday in 36 counties, a lawyer for the state Democratic Party said on Twitter. “This ruling will ensure that those communities who have suffered from the devastating flooding brought on by Hurricane Matthew have the grace period that they need in order to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard in this critical election,” party officials said. Read More


North Carolina: No extension for voter registration after Hurricane Matthew | News & Observer

The state will keep Friday as the deadline for regular voter registration, the State Board of Elections announced Wednesday, despite the upheaval in eastern counties awash in floodwater. Common Cause NC this week asked the elections board to extend the regular registration deadline to Oct. 19. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat representing counties hit by flooding after Hurricane Matthew, asked the state elections board to reconsider extending the deadline. “It would be a travesty to look at the dire situation that is being endured by people in these communities who are fighting against unparalleled flooding and not grant them additional days so that they can register to vote and exercise their fundamental right in November,” Butterfield said in a statement. Read More

North Carolina: Governor and legislators argue against allegations early voting plans in 5 counties violate court order | News & Observer

Attorneys for Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. legislators contended in a document filed in federal court on Friday that early voting plans in five counties do not run afoul of a federal appeals court ruling. The response came six days after a group of voters represented by Hillary Clinton’s campaign counsel sought emergency intervention. The voters are represented by Marc Elias, a Washington-based attorney who, in addition to working on Clinton’s campaign, has been involved with a number of high-profile cases challenging voting rights restrictions in recent years. They asked a judge to require the state Board of Elections to modify early voting plans in Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth, Nash and New Hanover counties. But attorneys for the state argued that the counties – four of which leaned Democratic in the 2012 elections – were within the bounds of a ruling this summer by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that invalidated much of a 2013 elections law overhaul. Read More

North Carolina: A federal court struck down much of North Carolina’s voter ID law – but what’s left could still shrink the black vote | The Washington Post

Many voting rights activists breathed a sigh of relief this year when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit overturned numerous provisions of North Carolina’s 2013 election law. The law had instituted a strict voter ID requirement, curtailed the early voting period and eliminated one-stop voting and registration, among other provisions. Critics argued that if the law were fully implemented it would lead to a sharp reduction in voting by racial minorities and younger citizens. The 4th Circuit agreed, saying that the “new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” On emergency appeal, the Supreme Court deadlocked 4 to 4 on granting a stay, which meant that the 4th Circuit’s decision will stand for the 2016 election. But there is an overlooked yet consequential provision of the law that the court did not strike down: the removal of the straight-ticket option from North Carolina ballots. As in 2014, there will be no such option on the ballot in 2016. Read More

North Carolina: Voter suppression’s last stand: North Carolina’s new Jim Crow counties | InsightUS

In the wake of a federal court decision overturning North Carolina’s “monster voter suppression law,” the NC-GOP’s executive director issued a call for “party-line changes to early voting” by the state’s Republican-controlled county boards of elections. Our review of the state’s early voting plan for this year finds that many boards did just the opposite. Still, a defiant band of renegades – the state’s New Jim Crow counties – did answer that call with cuts disproportionately falling on minority voters and promising election day chaos. But voting rights advocates are fighting back. The Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision overturned a key protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), instantly transforming North Carolina into the epicenter of the nationwide battle over minority voting rights. Within weeks of that decision (which freed the state from VRA’s requirement for federal oversight of changes to its election practices) North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly passed, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law, the state’s “monster voter suppression bill,” HB589. The law slashed early voting days, imposed a cumbersome voter ID requirement, and ended voter registration during the early voting period, among many other restrictions. Read More

North Carolina: No more straight-ticket option in voting booths this November | WLOS

After a federal judge struck down much of North Carolina’s controversial voter ID law back in July, one provision remained, and it might have the most powerful effect on this November’s election–especially in local races all over the state. The 2013 law eliminated straight-ticket voting, meaning that in the November election, for the first time, you’ll no longer be able to fill out one bubble to vote all-Democrat, or all-Republican. Technically, you’ve always had to fill out two bubbles in North Carolina, since the vote for president has required a separate vote since the 1960s. This provision might lower vote totals, and make for tighter local races on November 8. Read More

North Carolina: Motion Seeks to Modify Early Voting Ruling in North Carolina | Associated Press

An emergency motion was filed Saturday asking a federal judge to require the N.C. State Board of Elections to comply with a previous decision addressing early voting in North Carolina. The motion filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of a group called “The Duke Intervenor Plaintiffs” seeks to get the board to modify the early voting plans of Nash, New Hanover, Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth counties. According to the motion, the board recently approved early voting plans that the plaintiffs think run counter to the decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Also, the motion says if the court finds it necessary to issue an order of contempt, the plaintiffs would move for an order to show why the board shouldn’t be held in civil contempt for violating the court’s order. Read More

North Carolina: Democrats seek more early voting hours in key North Carolina counties | The Hill

Attorneys behind the lawsuit that struck down a sweeping North Carolina election reform measure filed an emergency motion on Saturday to extend early voting hours in five key counties. The new motion, filed by Marc Elias, the top lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, seeks to extend early voting hours in Nash, New Hanover, Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth counties. President Obama won four of those five counties in 2012. The motion comes after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that a 2013 state election reform law disproportionately impacted low-income and minority voters. The three-judge panel that struck down the law said it had been enacted by the legislature with intent to discriminate against voters who typically back Democrats. Read More