Civil rights groups and churches opposed to sweeping changes to North Carolina’s election rules said on Tuesday they would ask an appeals court for a reversal after a federal judge upheld provisions they argue will suppress minority votes at the polls in November. The ruling late on Monday was highly anticipated in a presidential election year in a state that had close results for the White House in 2008 and 2012, and it received praise from the voting law’s Republican backers. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem said the state could require voters to show approved photo identification at the polls, one of a number of provisions in the law that challengers have said targets groups of people who typically support Democratic candidates.
Schroeder, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, also upheld provisions that eliminated a week of early voting, ended same-day registration and banned provisional ballots cast outside the correct precinct from being counted.
Lawyers for groups including churches, the North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. They said they were confident they would prevail.