Attorneys on both sides of the lawsuits challenging the 2013 state election law overhaul are trying to find common ground on North Carolina’s voter ID law and plan to report the results of their efforts to a judge next month. Lawyers for the NAACP and others offered that detail in an update to the federal judge presiding over the cases that will determine which rules govern elections in North Carolina next year. They plan to report to the judge on Sept. 17 as part of a trial that could test the breadth of protections for African-Americans with claims of voter disenfranchisement two years after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder presided over three weeks of arguments in July on parts of the challenge that did not include the requirement that N.C. voters show one of six photo identification cards to cast a ballot. The legislature amended that portion of the law on the eve of the trial, setting up a request from the challengers for deeper review of the broader implications of the changes.
… In court documents submitted Monday, attorneys representing the state NAACP and other plaintiffs said their pending claims “may be able to be resolved through discussion and negotiations with Defendants.” The Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the N.C. NAACP, an organization challenging the ID provision and other parts of the 2013 election law overhaul, said the plaintiffs still think the photo ID requirement discriminates against African-American, Hispanic and other groups of voters.
… Though a possible settlement could emerge from the discussions in the coming weeks, Barber said neither the NAACP nor other challengers plan to back down from what they perceive to be new election law requirements that he contends hampers the ability to vote. “At the end of the day, we are going to protect and defend the constitutional rights of African-Americans, Latinos and others to vote,” Barber said.
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