Attorneys for the state filed court papers Friday opposing the request for a preliminary injunction against the state’s photo ID requirement before the March primaries. The N.C. NAACP filed a motion for a preliminary injunction last month, arguing that allowing the photo ID requirement during the March primaries would cause “irreparable harm” to minority voters. They argue that state officials haven’t done enough to educate voters about the photo ID requirement or about changes that state Republican legislators made to the requirement in June.
State attorneys argue in court papers that state elections officials have worked hard to inform people about the photo ID requirement since the legislation was passed in 2013 as part of a sweeping election law known as the Voter Information Verification Act. Also, state elections officials have tried to inform people as well as train county elections officials about an amendment that eased the photo ID requirement, according to court papers filed by the state.
The change means that voters without a voter ID can sign a “reasonable impediment” declaration outlining why they couldn’t get a photo ID. The amendment also allows voters to present certain kinds of expired photo ID issued within the last four years. And voters can also vote by absentee ballot during the early voting period. Absentee ballots, which are mailed in, don’t require a photo ID.
State attorneys allege that the state NAACP has a “fundamentally incorrect premise” that state elections officials provided misleading and inaccurate information about the photo ID requirement, resulting in confusion.