North Carolina

Articles about voting issues in North Carolina.

North Carolina: Justices Reject 2 Gerrymandered North Carolina Districts, Citing Racial Bias | The New York Times

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down two North Carolina congressional districts, ruling that lawmakers had violated the Constitution by relying too heavily on race in drawing them. The court rejected arguments from state lawmakers that their purpose in drawing the maps was not racial discrimination but partisan advantage. The decision was the court’s latest attempt to solve a constitutional puzzle: how to disentangle the roles of race and partisanship when black voters overwhelmingly favor Democrats. The difference matters because the Supreme Court has said that only racial gerrymandering is constitutionally suspect. Read More

North Carolina: Despite high court’s decision on voting law, activists worry about chief justice | The Washington Post

The big win for voting rights activists at the Supreme Court last week came with an equally big asterisk, and provided new reason for jittery liberals and civil rights groups to continue to fret about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The justices without noted dissent on May 15 said they would not consider reviving North Carolina’s sweeping 2013 voting law, which had been struck down by a lower court after years of litigation. A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had ruled that the state’s Republican legislative leadership had intentionally crafted the law to blunt the growing political power of African American voters. Read More

North Carolina: Supreme Court won’t save North Carolina voting restrictions, GOP leaders say they will try again with new law | News & Observer

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider reinstating key provisions of North Carolina’s 2013 elections law overhaul, which includes a voter ID requirement and other restrictions on voting. Within hours of the release of the order, N.C. Republican Party leaders were calling for a new law that would incorporate some of the same ideas in a manner that they thought could withstand judicial review. The Supreme Court ruling gave few details about why the justices left a lower-court decision in place that struck down the restrictions, stating they “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” Read More

North Carolina: Republicans working on a new voter suppression bill | Slate

On Monday, the Supreme Court dealt a death blow to North Carolina’s notorious voter suppression law, refusing to review a lower court’s decision to block the measure for “target[ing] African Americans with almost surgical precision.” Republicans in the General Assembly, however, responded immediately with plans to introduce a new voter ID bill that mirrors the old, unlawful one. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who opposes voter ID laws, estimates that GOP legislators will pass the bill within ten days. Due to a gerrymander that has been found to be unconstitutionally racist, Republicans dominate the state legislature and will likely override Cooper’s inevitable veto.

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North Carolina: Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case | The New York Times

The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would stay out of a fight over a restrictive North Carolina voting law. The move left in place a federal appeals court ruling that struck down key parts of the law as an unconstitutional effort to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” As is the court’s custom, the justices gave no reason for declining to hear the case. But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued a statement noting that there was a dispute about who represented the state in the case and that nothing should be read into the court’s decision to decline to hear it. The law, enacted by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature in 2013, imposed an array of voting restrictions, including new voter identification requirements. It was part of a wave of voting restrictions enacted after a 5-to-4 Supreme Court decision that effectively struck down a central part of the federal Voting Rights Act, weakening federal oversight of voting rights. Read More

North Carolina: Supreme Court’s Roberts: ‘Uncertainty’ sinks voter ID appeal | Winston-Salem Journal

The U.S. Supreme Court shut the door Monday on North Carolina Republicans’ effort to revive a state law that mandated voter identification and scaled back early voting, provisions that a lower court said improperly targeted minority voters. The justices left in place last summer’s ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals striking down the law’s photo ID requirement to vote in person, which the court said targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.” The measure, approved in 2013 by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature in 2013, also reduced the number of early-voting days and prohibited same-day registration during the early voting period. Supporters said the measure was necessary to crack down on voter fraud, but opponents said the changes discourage voting by black and Hispanic residents, who use early voting or same-day registration more than white voters and are more likely to lack photo ID. Read More

North Carolina: Elections agency works to avoid late-night result changes, ineligible felon voters | News & Observer

State election officials say they’re taking steps to avoid some problems seen during November’s election by improving procedures for publishing vote counts and removing active felons from voter rolls. State Board of Elections executive director Kim Strach provided her post-election report to an N.C. House committee Thursday, highlighting some of the upgrades in the works. One Election Night problem was the late counting of early votes in Durham County. Because of difficulties reading the memory cards on voting machines, the county didn’t add early voting totals to online records until nearly midnight – even though the state’s website indicated that most of the county was finished reporting totals. Read More

North Carolina: Governor and GOP legislators back in court over elections board, ethics commission merger | News & Observer

Three judges who already have ruled against one legislative attempt to take away control of elections oversight from the governor’s political party issued an order late Friday that temporarily blocks the latest law with that aim. Gov. Roy Cooper sued Phil Berger, leader of the state Senate, Tim Moore, speaker of the state House, and the state on Wednesday over a law that again calls for the merging of the state elections board and ethics commission and changes the makeup, staffing and function of the two groups. Legislators enacted the bill this week, overriding the governor’s veto of a law that would create an eight-member board to oversee the state’s elections that would be evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. For the first two years, the board would keep the elections director selected during the Pat McCrory administration. Read More

North Carolina: Prominent Virginia politician implicated in North Carolina GOP voter fraud deceit | Facing South

An elections watchdog is calling for a criminal investigation into whether the campaign of former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, the N.C. Republican Party and their attorneys falsely accused hundreds of citizens of voter fraud in the wake of last year’s election, which McCrory narrowly lost to Democrat Roy Cooper. At the scandal’s center is Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky (HVJT), a prominent Virginia law firm that filed most of the voter challenges. It’s headed by Jill Holtzman Vogel, a three-term Virginia state senator from Fauquier County who’s running for lieutenant governor in the June 13 primary. The firm’s other principals include a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and a former assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Read More

North Carolina: Judges back governor over election changes | Greensboro News & Record

North Carolina judges on Friday put a temporary brake on renewed efforts by Republican state lawmakers to curtail the new Democratic governor’s control over state and local elections. A panel of state trial court judges voted 2-1 to stop a new law from taking effect Monday until a more extensive hearing on May 10. The panel’s majority said Gov. Roy Cooper was likely to succeed in challenging a law GOP legislators passed this week diluting the ability governors have had for more than a century to pick election board majorities. State Senate leader Phil Berger blasted the temporary restraining order, saying legislators had responded to the panel’s rejection of an earlier version by tailoring the revamped effort “exactly as they required.” Read More