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.”
The challengers contend the new law discriminates against African-Americans, Latinos and voters younger than 25. They have asked the court to block provisions that end same-day registration, curb the number of days on which people can vote early, do away with a popular teen pre-registration program and prohibit people from casting ballots out of their assigned precinct The provision of the 2013 election law overhaul that requires voters to present a photo ID at the polls does not go into effect until 2016, when presidential races will be on the ballot.