Civil rights activists opposed to North Carolina’s dramatic voting law changes will use the ballot box and the courts to try to overturn them after a judge refused to block them from being used, attorneys for the state NAACP said Monday. A U.S. District Court judge declined late last week to prevent continued implementation of several provisions being challenged in court by advocacy groups, voters and the federal government. But Judge Thomas Schroeder allowed a trial on the constitutionality of those provisions to continue as planned next July, rejecting requests of the state to throw out the three lawsuits. The provisions, already used in the May primary, eliminated same-day registration during early voting, reduced the early-voting period by a week and eliminated the counting of ballots cast on election day outside of a person’s home precinct. Voters also are being told at the polls to prepare for a photo identification requirement in 2016. Political parties also can send in more observers to monitor voting.
The plaintiffs will decide this week whether to appeal the judge’s ruling, said Penda Hair, an attorney with the Advancement Project, helping represent the state chapter of the NAACP, churches and voters.
Regardless of the appeal decision, the NAACP and like-minded groups opposed to Republican policies such as the voting law will continue to register voters and help them navigate new restrictions so they can avoid obstacles to casting ballots. They say the changes will disproportionately affect black voters who have benefited from the wider opportunities to register and to vote.
“We are determined that it will not hinder our efforts to continue to ensure full voting participation in the upcoming elections by African-Americans in this state,” NAACP legal adviser Irving Joyner said during a conference call, adding that Schroeder’s “opinion is not fatal to our efforts.”
Full Article: Goldsboro News-Argus | State News.