Justice Dept. will sue North Carolina over voting bill

September 30, 2013
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The Justice Department will announce Monday it is suing North Carolina over a law passed earlier this year that would make sweeping changes to the state’s elections laws. North Carolina is the Justice Department’s second target; earlier this year, federal officials filed suit against a new voter identification law in Texas.

Our colleague Holly Yeager has the details:

Under the new law, North Carolina residents are required to show a photo ID at polling places. The law was signed by the state’s Republican governor last month, and civil right groups moved quickly to challenge it. They said that the law’s requirements will make it harder to vote and that racial minorities will be disproportionately affected because they are less likely to have the forms of photo ID required by the law. In their suit, the Advancement Project and the North Carolina NAACP also argued that voter fraud is not a significant problem in the state.

Justice will challenge four provisions of North Carolina’s voting law, according to the person briefed on the plans. They include the strict voter-ID requirements, which critics say do not provide adequate protection for voters who lack the required ID. The suit will also challenge the elimination of the first seven days of early voting, the elimination of same-day voter registration during the early-voting period and the prohibition on counting provisional ballots cast by voters in their home county but outside their home voting precinct.

The department will also ask that North Carolina again be required to get clearance in advance of any changes to its voting laws.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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