Another pending legal challenge to North Carolina’s voter identification requirement is still swimming around in state court, where a judge Friday heard arguments on whether a trial should be scheduled soon or more delays are the proper course. Three consolidated federal lawsuits seeking to overturn the photo ID mandate and other voting changes made by the General Assembly already have been tried, with all the provisions in the 2013 case upheld last month as legal and constitutional. That case is on the fast-track to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, with scheduled arguments for next month. The state lawsuit, initially filed in August 2013 by voters and voting-rights groups, focuses solely on the ID requirement as another qualification to vote beyond what the North Carolina Constitution demands and is unlawful. Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan put the proceedings on hold last fall until after photo ID was required for the first time during the March 15 primary.
It gave time to examine how the mandate at early-voting centers and primary day precincts worked, especially a late addition to the law allowing people who had trouble obtaining a qualified ID to fill out a form and provide other information so their vote would still count.
Those who sued filed an updated complaint in April, saying their individual plaintiffs are registered voters who were told by poll workers they could not vote or the provisional ballots they cast while using the “reasonable impediment” form failed to count.