Advocates Move Forward With Voting Laws Dispute

Aug 12, 2014

Two women participate in early voting.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Opponents of the state's new voting law are planning their next steps after a judge refused to put the law on hold for the November election. A district judge on Friday denied a preliminary injunction for a law limiting the number of early voting days and getting rid of same-day registration at the polls.

Advocates will decide this week whether or not to appeal the decision. Either way, leaders say they are directing their attention to boots-on-the-ground efforts.

"They are in the process, as we speak, of organizing voter registration drives... and will be following that up with getting people to the polls in November for the election," said Irving Joyner of the North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Voting rights groups say the restrictions disproportionately affect African American and Hispanic voters. They say that the voting methods being cut back are precisely the methods that have increased minority turnout in recent years.

Lawyers are now turning their attention to the larger case, due in court next Summer.

"In addition to presenting evidence as to how North Carolina's voting law really results in less opportunities for African Americans to vote, we're also going to present evidence about what the General Assembly knew, and what they intended," said Daniel Donovan, a lawyer working on the case.

The law includes other provisions ending a program for students to pre-register at ages 16 and 17, as well as a voter ID requirement set to go into effect in 2016.