State attorneys want a federal judge to dismiss the legal challenge to North Carolina’s voter-identification law before the March 2016 presidential primary, according to court documents filed Wednesday. And though the plaintiffs, including the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, said they hoped to settle the matter before a trial, state attorneys said there’s no chance of that. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23 before U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder. The state NAACP, the U.S. Justice Department and others sued the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over 2013’s Voter Information Verification Act. The law’s most well-known provision is the photo ID requirement, but the law also reduced the number of early-voting days from 17 to 10, eliminated same-day voter registration and got rid of out-of-precinct provisional voting.
The plaintiffs argue that the law, as a whole, is unconstitutional, violates the federal Voting Rights Act, and unduly burdens blacks, Hispanics, the poor and college students.
In court papers filed in August and September, the plaintiffs said they were working with the defendants on a proposed consent decree. Voter ID was not part of a federal trial on the law in July because state Republican legislators passed an amendment easing the photo ID requirement. The amendment allows voters to sign a “reasonable impediment” to getting a photo ID. State attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the legal challenge against the voter ID law, saying that the amendment makes the issue moot.