The voter ID law will be back in federal court later this month. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder plans to hold a hearing Oct. 23 to get an update on efforts to settle the legal claims against the photo ID requirement. The N.C. NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and others filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s Voter Information Verification Act, which was passed by the Republican-led General Assembly in 2013. The law not only has a photo ID requirement but also includes a number of other provisions, such as the reduction of early voting days and the elimination of same-day voter registration. Plaintiffs allege that the law discriminates against blacks, Hispanics, poor people and college students.
Schroeder presided over a three-week trial in July that dealt with many of those provisions, except the photo ID requirement. Schroeder decided to deal with the photo ID requirement separately after state legislators approved an amendment easing that requirement. The amendment allows voters without a photo ID to sign a declaration saying they had a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID. The amendment also allows voters to use photo IDs that that have been expired less than four years.
State attorneys have already filed a motion to dismiss the legal challenge to the photo ID requirement. Schroeder has not ruled on that motion nor has he ruled on the constitutionality of the other provisions challenged in July.
Tom Farr, one of the attorneys representing the state, declined to comment Monday.