Attorneys for the state of North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday requested that a pair of federal lawsuits challenging substantial changes to portions of a law overhauling elections in the state be dismissed. Offering their initial formal responses to litigation filed in August on the same McCrory signed the bill into law, the lawyers denied all of the racial discrimination allegations made by civil rights and election advocacy groups and voters about the legislation. The lawsuits seek to throw out new rules requiring photo identification to vote starting in 2016, reducing the number of early-voting days by a week and eliminating same-day registration during the early-voting period, among other steps. The lawsuits argue the changes are dramatic and would make it disproportionately harder for black citizens to vote, turning back the clock on voting rights.
The responses lacked explanations why the portions of the law challenged on the basis of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution should be upheld. Instead those responses largely stuck to lawyerly language admitting facts or denying allegations from dozens of paragraphs of the original litigation.
Bob Stephens, McCrory’s chief legal counsel, said in a statement “the allegations made by the plaintiffs are simply wrong as a matter of law and fact. The governor remains confident that the law will be upheld.”