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Parties In NC Voter ID Lawsuit Can’t Agree Even On A Trial Date

Attorneys on both sides of four lawsuits challenging voting rules signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory this year are scheduled to meet in U.S. District Court on Thursday morning to argue over an opening date for the trial.

The two sides disagree on whether a trial should be heard before the 2014 mid-term elections. The plaintiffs, which include the North Carolina NAACP and the League of Women Voters, are asking the court to schedule for trial in August 2014. The attorneys representing the state are asking for a begin date no earlier than January 2015.

Two of the new voting provisions, eliminating same-day registration and shortening early voting by a week, are set to go into place for the Nov. 4, 2014, elections, in which the seat held by U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will be contested. The most hotly debated provision, which requires voters to show government-issued identification at the polls, is set to be in place for the 2016 Presidential elections.

“Hopefully, these measures never go into effect and impact the right to vote here in North Carolina,” said Chris Brook, an attorney for the North Carolina ACLU, representing the League of Women Voters.

Attorneys representing the state did not respond to requests for comment. The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday before Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in Winston-Salem.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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