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

By Mike Meno, ACLU of North Carolina Communications Director

“Why doesn’t the state of North Carolina want people to vote?”

That was the question federal judge James A. Wynn Jr. posed to state attorneys defending North Carolina’s restrictive new voting law in a federal appeals court in Charlotte on Thursday.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today on North Carolina's restrictive voting law and whether key provisions can go into effect before the midterm election. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging provisions that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit out-of-precinct voting.

The groups sought to have the provisions halted prior to next summer's trial, but last month a judge ruled the law could go into effect, prompting the appeal. The three-judge appeals panel consisted of Henry F. Floyd, Diana Gribbon Motz, and James A. Wynn Jr.

"Tampering with the right to vote should not be taken lightly," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "The restrictions imposed by this law stand to disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters. If this law is found unconstitutional following next year's trial, voters who were blocked from participating in the midterm election will never get that chance back."

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Thursday, September 25, on North Carolina's restrictive voting law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) are challenging provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit out-of-precinct voting. Implementing 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.

The ACLU and SCSJ argued the law should be placed on hold until trial next summer —and in time for the midterm elections in November —but a district court judge ruled the law could go into effect; the ACLU and SCSJ appealed.

"We are asking the court to protect the integrity of our elections and safeguard the vote for thousands of North Carolinians by not allowing these harmful provisions to go into effect," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A federal judge today rejected North Carolina's request to avoid a full trial over the state's sweeping voter suppression 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 out-of-precinct voting. The groups were in court last month to argue that those measures should be placed on hold prior to next summer's trial, and in time for the November election. The judge ruled the law can remain in effect until trial.

"If this law is found unconstitutional, North Carolinians whose voting rights were violated in the midterm election will have lost a critical opportunity to participate in our democratic process," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "While we had hoped the court would recognize this irreparable harm, the ultimate goal is to see these discriminatory measures struck down. We look forward to making our case at full trial, which is something the state had sought to avoid."

The groups charge the law unduly burdens the right to vote and discriminates against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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