Whether N.C. voters will have to show a photo ID in 2016 will depend on whether opponents can show why they shouldn’t have to. That test begins Friday when critics of the 2013 election law overhaul argue that the ID requirement violates the North Carolina Constitution. North Carolina residents and voting-rights organizations challenging the state’s voter ID requirement contend that voters, not lawmakers, hold the power to make such a change to election law. Voters, they say, would have to approve an amendment to the state Constitution. In a hearing scheduled to take place in Wake County court on Friday, attorneys for the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute and five female voters plan to argue that lawmakers overstepped the bounds of the state Constitution when they overhauled election laws in 2013. Friday’s hearing focuses on the voter ID requirement scheduled to go into effect in 2016.
Voters will be required to show one of seven photo identification cards included on a list of acceptable IDs, according to the legislation. State-issued student ID cards are not on the list.
The NAACP and others who have sued the state asking for the 2013 election overhaul to be declared unconstitutional have pursued legal challenges on two tracks.