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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Voting Rights

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A federal trial is scheduled to begin Monday, July 13, over North Carolina's restrictive voting law. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit the counting of out-of-precinct ballots. The case was brought on behalf of several clients, including the League of Women Voters of North Carolina.

The groups charge that enacting these provisions would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act.

State lawmakers last month passed a bill that softened the law's stringent voter ID provision, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure into law. In light of these developments, proceedings related to voter ID have been deferred, and it will not be part of the federal trial.

Background: North Carolina passed a restrictive voting law in August 2013. Representing the League of Women Voters and other civic engagement groups and individuals, the ACLU and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit the counting of "out-of-precinct" ballots. Enacting these provisions would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act.

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GREENSBORO – To commemorate the 50-year anniversary of its founding in Greensboro in 1965, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is unveiling a 10-panel history exhibit, “ACLU of North Carolina: Fifty Years of Protecting Liberty,” which chronicles the nonprofit civil liberties organization’s work defending civil liberties in North Carolina over the past half century.

The exhibit, which recounts the ACLU-NC’s work on eight key civil liberties issues – free speech, voting rights, privacy rights, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, women’s rights, racial justice, and religious liberty – is opening at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro, which celebrates its fifth anniversary on Feb. 1. An opening reception for the exhibit is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. on  Thursday, January 15.  

“This exhibit provides the public with an opportunity to learn about the history of civil liberties in our state and the unique role the ACLU of North Carolina has played in many important struggles for individual rights over the last half century,” said Jennifer Rudinger, who has served as executive director of the ACLU-NC since May 2004. “Much has changed in North Carolina over the last fifty years, but the core principle guiding the ACLU-NC has remained the same: If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everyone’s rights are imperiled. Those who see this exhibit will hopefully walk away remembering that freedom can’t protect itself, and that the ACLU of North Carolina, while controversial to some, has spent five decades working on the front lines to protect and advance civil liberties for all North Carolinians.”    

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today stayed an appeals court order that restored same-day registration and reinstated out-of-precinct provisional voting in North Carolina in time for the midterm election. Those provisions are being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Last week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked them from taking effect, prompting the state to seek a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court. The court has not yet ruled on the merits of the case.

The following is a statement from Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project:

"Thousands of North Carolinians will be left out of the upcoming election. More than 20,000 North Carolina voters used same-day registration in the last midterm election. While this order is not a final ruling on the merits, it does allow a law that undermines voter participation to be in effect as this case makes its way through the courts."

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court ruling that had allowed provisions of North Carolina's restrictive voting law to go into effect before the midterm election. Today's order restores same-day registration and reinstates out-of-precinct provisional voting on Voting Rights Act grounds.The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging those provisions, as well as the elimination of a week of early voting.

"The court's order safeguards the vote for tens of thousands of North Carolinians.  It means they will continue to be able to use same-day registration, just as they have during the last three federal elections," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

"This is a victory for voters in the state of North Carolina,” said Southern Coalition for Social Justice staff attorney Allison Riggs. "The court has rebuked attempts to undermine voter participation."

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