A Wake County judge has refused to dismiss a challenge to North Carolina’s voter ID law, saying in a ruling issued Friday that most of the claims in the lawsuit are strong enough to take to trial. Judge Mike Morgan dismissed two of six claims made by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and five female voters who contend that requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls violates the North Carolina State Constitution. Attorneys for the legislators behind the 2013 elections-law overhaul argued three weeks ago to Morgan that the case should be dismissed outright and that no one would be prohibited from voting if they did not have one of the acceptable forms of ID. The attorneys for the lawmakers contended that because an ID will not be necessary to cast a mail-in absentee ballot, that the challengers’ arguments have no merits.
But Morgan ruled that he could not make a final decision until he heard evidence in the case. “On behalf of our clients, we look forward to trying this case in July and demonstrating the disenfranchising effect of the photo ID requirement,” said George Eppsteiner, a Southern Coalition for Social Justice staff attorney for some of the challengers.
Melvin Montford, executive director of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute of North Carolina, added, “We’re going to show how this law has a negative impact on voters of color and voters that do not have the resources to obtain an ID.”