Uncertainty continues to cloud this fall’s elections, with the state planning to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate North Carolina’s voter ID law, and counties deciding whether to extend or shorten early voting. One group warned Wednesday that the state could be headed for a “train wreck” if counties don’t extend the hours to vote early. Mecklenburg County’s elections board Chair Mary Potter Summa said it’s unclear whether the board will reduce the number of planned early voting hours. The board is scheduled to vote on a plan Monday. Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he’ll ask the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that threw out the ID law and with it provisions that barred same-day registration and shortened the early voting period from 17 to 10 days. (The number of actual hours remained the same as during previous elections.)
An administration official said Wednesday the governor hopes to ask Chief Justice John Roberts to stay the lower court order this week.
Last month a three-judge federal panel overturned the sweeping 2013 law, saying it was “passed with racially discriminatory intent.”
But in overturning it, the judges eliminated the requirement that mandated that counties have the same number of early-voting hours as they did in the last presidential race. Now counties have until Aug. 19 to determine how many hours to have early voting.