Justice Department sues North Carolina over voter ID law

July 7

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who signed the state’s election and voting law in 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

A North Carolina  judge will decide whether portions of the state’s voter ID law, described as “discriminatory” by critics, should be implemented or delayed, following suits filed by the federal government and others.

The law requires voters to show photo ID at the polls, eliminates same-day registration and pre-registration for students as young as 16, and cuts the early-voting period from 17 to 10 days. Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice, NAACP, and League of Women Voters will argue for a preliminary injunction against portions of the law in a U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem on Monday. A trial will be held in the case in 2015, according to the Associated Press.

“The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights of African-Americans,”  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit in September. “This is an intentional step to break a system that was working and it defies common sense.”

The law, 49 pages long, includes a number of other changes to the state’s elections and campaigns, including increasing  the amount of money donors can give to candidates by $5,000, eliminating a one-box straight-ticketing voting option on ballots, and repealing the requirement that candidates appear in their own campaign ads and say they “approve this message.”

Thirty-four states have passed laws requiring voters to show some sort of identification to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Update: This article inaccurately described a quote made in September.

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