The N.C. NAACP is asking a federal judge to postpone a trial on the state’s photo ID requirement until after the March 15 primary, according to court documents filed Tuesday. The trial is set to start Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem. The state NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and others sued North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory in 2013 after state Republican legislators passed a controversial sweeping elections law known as the Voter Information Verification Act. Part of that law required people to show a photo ID this year when they cast their ballots.
The law also either eliminated or reduced voting reforms used disproportionately by blacks and Hispanics, including early voting and same-day voter registration. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have argued that the law, as a whole, is racially discriminatory and unconstitutional and that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In July, a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem was held on nearly all of the provisions of the elections law, except for the photo ID. Just weeks before the trial was to begin, state Republican legislators passed an amendment that eased the photo ID requirement. One of the major changes was allowing people who had no photo ID to sign a “reasonable impediment” declaration and to then cast a ballot. Judge Thomas D. Schroeder decided to delay the legal challenge to the photo ID requirement until a later date.