The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on Wednesday that means voters in North Carolina will not be able to vote out of their precincts on Nov. 4 nor register to vote and cast ballots on the same day. The ruling blocked a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision Oct. 1 that reinstated same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting for the coming election. The justices offered no insight into their 7-2 ruling to uphold a district court ruling to let the November election proceed under the 2013 rewrite of the state’s elections laws. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented and issued an opinion outlining their reasons. They said they had no reason to disagree with the 4th Circuit’s reasoning that elimination of same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting would limit opportunities for black voters to cast ballots. Ginsburg said the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had “worked to safeguard long-obstructed access to the ballot by African-Americans” by blocking such election-law changes in the South. But the court voided that “pre-clearance rule” last year in a 5-4 decision. North Carolina voting laws were changed weeks after the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act.
Voters will go to the polls Nov. 4 to decide key statewide races and local contests. The U.S. Senate race between incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis, a Republican, has drawn national interest. Libertarian Sean Haugh is also seeking the seat.
The NAACP and others who have sued the state asking for the 2013 election overhaul to be declared unconstitutional had hoped old laws would govern the general election in November while their lawsuits make their way through the courts.
The challengers contend the changes made in 2013 discriminate against African-Americans, Latinos and voters younger than 25.
Full Article: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds North Carolina’s Limits on Voting.