North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: NAACP files complaint over state Senate leader’s ad for misleading on voter ID | Facing South

The North Carolina NAACP has filed a complaint with the state Board of Elections and the Guilford County district attorney against the campaign of N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R) over a TV and internet ad that could mislead viewers on the status of the state’s voter ID requirement. Under a sweeping election law passed last year by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory (R), voters will have to show a photo ID beginning in 2016. But that’s not the impression some might get from watching the ad, which states:

You need a photo ID to drive, cash a check, even to buy medicine. Shouldn’t you show a photo ID to vote? Liberals like Obama and Kay Hagan say no. Phil Berger fought the liberals and won. Now, thanks to Phil Berger, voters must show a valid photo ID to vote.

Berger’s ad does not qualify that the photo ID requirement will not be in effect for this election. The ad first began airing a year ago, but the NAACP said it just became aware of it when the 30-second spot aired recently on television in Guilford County and other areas. Read More

Share

North Carolina: ‘Monster’ election law disenfranchised more than 450 primary voters, report finds | Facing South

More than 450 North Carolina citizens whose votes would have counted in the 2012 election had their ballots rejected during this year’s primary due to election law changes made last year by the Republican-controlled legislature. Those disenfranchised were disproportionately African Americans and Democrats, lending support to claims that the new law is discriminatory. Those are among the findings of a new report by the voting rights watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, which analyzed provisional ballots cast in this year’s primary. The analysis focused on provisional ballots rejected due to two recent changes in state voting rules: one ending same-day registration and the other requiring election-day ballots to be cast in one’s own precinct. Bob Hall, the group’s executive director, interviewed a dozen of the affected voters to gather more details about what happened. ”I was blown away, I have to say,” Hall said at a Sept. 10 press conference outside the state elections board, referring to what he heard from voters whose ballots were rejected. Read More

Share

North Carolina: Hundreds of Voters Are Disenfranchised by North Carolina’s New Voting Restrictions | The Nation

Craig Thomas of Granville County, North Carolina, registered to vote before he deployed to Afghanistan with the US Army. After serving abroad for eighteen months, he went to vote early in the state’s primary on April 30. He returned from Afghanistan to the same house, in the same precinct, but was told at the polls that there was “no record of registration” for him. In the past, Thomas could’ve re-registered during the early voting period and cast a regular ballot under the state’s same-day registration system. But same-day registration was one of the key electoral reforms eliminated by the North Carolina legislature last year when it passed the nation’s most onerous package of voting restrictions. In 2014, Thomas had to cast a provisional ballot, which was not counted. After fighting abroad, he was disenfranchised at home. Thomas was one of 454 North Carolina voters who would have had their ballots counted in 2012 but did not have them counted in the 2014 primary because of North Carolina’s elimination of same-day registration and prohibition on counting a provisional ballot cast in the wrong precinct, according to a new review by Democracy NC. (North Carolina also cut early voting by a week and mandated a strict voter ID law for 2016, among other things.) Read More

Share
Midterm Elections Texas Voting Rights

North Carolina: Federal appeals court to weigh in on voter laws before November elections | News Observer

The NAACP and others challenging the sweeping changes to North Carolina election laws in 2013 will have an opportunity to make arguments to a federal appeals court that the November elections should be held under old laws. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set Sept. 25 as the date for oral arguments on the pros and cons of an emergency appeal filed in late August by the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, registered Democrats in North Carolina and others. The hearing will be in Charlotte, according to documents filed in federal court Tuesday. Nearly a month ago, U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder rejected a similar request from the organizations and Democrats challenging the election law overhaul. Schroeder ruled the challengers had failed to make the case that voters would suffer “irreparable damages” if elections were held under the 2013 rules. Read More

Share

North Carolina: State: Overturning decision on voting law would cause problems in November’s election | Winston-Salem Journal

Scrapping much of the state’s new voting law, including a reduction in the number of days for early voting, at this late stage would cause havoc for the November general election, state attorneys argue in court papers filed Tuesday with the 4th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The state NAACP and others are asking the 4th Circuit to overrule a federal judge’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction blocking many of the provisions of the state’s new voting law from taking effect for the Nov. 4 general election. Those provisions include reducing the number of days for early voting from 17 to 10, eliminating same-day voter registration and prohibiting county officials from counting ballots cast by voters in the correct county but wrong precinct. The law also gets rid of preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds and increases the number of poll observers that each political party assigns during an election. Read More

Share

North Carolina: Attorneys for state NAACP file appeal of federal judge’s ruling on voting law | Winston-Salem Journal

Attorneys for the state NAACP and others filed a motion Monday asking the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to overrule a federal judge’s decision to deny a preliminary injunction blocking the state’s new voting law for the Nov. 4 general election. The state NAACP had announced last Thursday that it would appeal the ruling. The motion Monday comes two weeks after U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder denied the preliminary injunction that would have barred a state law that reduces days for early voting, eliminates same-day voter registration and prohibits county officials from counting ballots cast by voters in the correct county but wrong precinct. The law also gets rid of preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds and increases the number of poll observers that each political party assigns during an election. Read More

Share

North Carolina: NAACP appeals federal judge’s ruling to let 2014 elections proceed under new voting rules | News Observer

The NAACP has appealed a federal judge’s decision to allow elections to proceed under the sweeping changes made to North Carolina voting laws in 2013. U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Schroeder rejected a request earlier this month by the NAACP and other challengers of the 2013 overhaul to hold the November elections under old election laws instead of the ones at the heart of the lawsuit scheduled for trial in July 2015. The NAACP, the League of Women Voters, registered Democrats in North Carolina and others contend that voters will suffer “irreparable damages” if any elections scheduled before the hearing of the lawsuit are held under the laws adopted by the Republican-led General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory last summer.  “If one person’s right to vote is denied or abridged this election, this democracy suffers,” the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, said in a prepared statement. “While restoring the rights of North Carolina voters and renewing the integrity of democracy in our state will require a long legal fight, we must start now by doing everything we can to block this law for the November election.” Read More

Share

North Carolina: Court Rules Voting Rights Rollback to Stay In Place Until After Midterm Elections | The Atlantic

A federal judge has temporarily authorized North Carolina to implement a sweeping new law that threatens to reduce access to the polls, particularly for African-American, Latino, and young voters. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, is an early test of the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision, which overturned key parts of the Voting Rights Act. In 2000, North Carolina started rolling out efforts to make it easier to register and vote, only to yank those efforts back thirteen years later. When the state legislature was controlled by Democrats, it authorized counties to conduct up to seventeen days of early voting, including Sunday voting, which enabled black churches to transport parishioners to the polls. It also allowed citizens to register and vote on the same day. Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds could preregister, often at their high schools, ensuring they’d be on the rolls when they turned eighteen. And voters who showed up at the wrong precinct could still cast ballots in certain races. From 1996 to 2012, the state’s ranking in turnout among voter-eligible adults shot up from 43rd to 11th, according to the United States Elections Project at George Mason University. African-American participation pulled even with white participation. Read More

Share

North Carolina: After loss in court, voting rights activists turn attention to mobilizing in the streets | Facing South

Following a federal judge’s decision last week to deny a request by the U.S. Department of Justice and civil rights groups to block North Carolina’s restrictive new voting law from being enforced during this November’s election, voting rights activists are turning their attention from the ongoing legal battle in the courtroom to organizing voters to turn out despite the new rules. ”We will not falter in our efforts to mobilize until this extreme law is completely repealed,” said Rev. William Barber of the N.C. NAACP, one of the civil rights groups that sought the injunction. “Our movement against this voter suppression law is built on the legacy of those who have testified before us, with their feet and blood, to fight for equal rights in North Carolina and the nation.” On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder declined to issue a preliminary injunction that would have prevented restrictive provisions in the voting law passed last year by the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) from taking effect during this year’s general election. Those provisions include a shorter early voting period and an end to same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting and straight-party voting. Read More

Share

North Carolina: Voting suits continue despite ruling | Associated Press

Civil rights activists opposed to North Carolina’s dramatic voting law changes will use the ballot box and the courts to try to overturn them after a judge refused to block them from being used, attorneys for the state NAACP said Monday. A U.S. District Court judge declined late last week to prevent continued implementation of several provisions being challenged in court by advocacy groups, voters and the federal government. But Judge Thomas Schroeder allowed a trial on the constitutionality of those provisions to continue as planned next July, rejecting requests of the state to throw out the three lawsuits. The provisions, already used in the May primary, eliminated same-day registration during early voting, reduced the early-voting period by a week and eliminated the counting of ballots cast on election day outside of a person’s home precinct. Voters also are being told at the polls to prepare for a photo identification requirement in 2016. Political parties also can send in more observers to monitor voting. Read More

Share