Attorneys will update a federal judge Friday about their latest arguments over North Carolina’s voter ID provision that is set to go into effect in 2016. Lawyers representing state lawmakers contend the legal challenge should be dismissed. They say the issue is moot now, because legislators changed the law earlier this year to make it possible for some people to vote without a photo identification card. The NAACP and others have contended that requiring IDs to vote has a disproportionate negative impact on minority voters, who don’t always have access to birth certificates and other documents needed for the identification cards. Though the 2015 amendment to the elections law overhaul now makes it possible to vote without one of the six specified IDs, the challengers have asked for more time to study the practical effect. They also have questioned whether elections officials have had adequate time to educate the public about the most recent version of voting laws.
In the waning days of the 2015 legislative session, the General Assembly approved a bill that moves North Carolina’s primary elections to March 15.
With that change comes a scheduling change for candidates who intend to run for office. Now, instead of filing early next year, the filing deadline is Dec. 1.
Alexander Peters, senior deputy attorney general, included a request in a recent court document for U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder, asking the judge to dismiss the ID challenge and to rule on other issues related to the 2013 elections law overhaul.
Schroeder held a bench trial in July and heard arguments for and against other controversial provisions in the 2013 law.