NC: Will judges decide to change voting rules less than 40 days before the election?


RULE ROULETTE: What will a federal court do with North Carolina’s voting rules?

By Ann Kane |

Should North Carolina change its voting rules less than 40 days before a general election?

A three judge panel from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond,met in Charlotte on Thursday to hear arguments from plaintiffs asking for an injunction against new voting rules established by HB 589 in 2013.

(Listen to audio of two-hour hearing here.)

Already in effect during the May primary, the new procedures include reduction in early voting from 17 days prior to election day to 10 days before, and elimination of same day registration and out of precinct provisional voting.

The plaintiffs were represented by several lawyers from the NAACP, the ACLU, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the League of Women Voters.

Allison Riggs, a lawyer with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, argued, “Voters are and were disenfranchised under the law.” In addition, “voters become habituated to early voting,” and are in danger of “demonstrable fall off” if they have to change how they’re used to voting.

Penda Hair, Co-Director of the Advancement Project, argued that “African Americans in this state suffer from severe social and economic disadvantages” that directly impact their ability to vote.

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