A federal appeals court is hearing arguments in a case challenging a new North Carolina voting law that critics say will suppress minority voter turnout in November. The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set Thursday for an expedited hearing in Charlotte. The court will consider whether the November elections can be held under the voting law approved by Republican lawmakers. In early August, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder denied a motion seeking to hold the November vote under old rules, saying the groups failed to show they would suffer “irreparable harm.” But lawyers for the North Carolina branch of the NACCP asked the appeals court to review Schroeder’s ruling.
The 2013 law is considered among the most stringent in the nation. It makes more than two dozen changes critics say will suppress turnout, including requiring voters to present government-issued photo IDs, ending same-day registration and trimming the early-voting period. Voters also were to be told at the polls to prepare for a photo identification requirement in 2016.