Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Portions Of NC's New Voting Law

Oct 4, 2014

Credit Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction on two portions of North Carolina's new voting law, following a decision from a federal appellate court this week saying the state should allow same-day registration during early voting in this year's election.

Irving Joyner, an attorney with the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, which is challenging the law in court, says that as many as 30,000 African American voters used same-day registration during early voting in the 2012 election.

"If we have the exact same occurrence in 2014, that would be 30,000 people that would not have been able to vote, had the district court order stayed in place," Joyner says.

The North Carolina Attorney General's office has appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. State House Speaker Thom Tillis, who is running for U.S. Senate in November, and state Senate Leader Phil Berger said in a joint statement this week that changes this close to the election will cause confusion among voters and will be a burden on elections officials.

In a joint statement, they said that repealing same-day registration will allow voting officials to verify voter information, and that the law sets voting standards in North Carolina comparable to those in 30 other states.

The court's action is the result of four lawsuits challenging the state's new voting law. It's unclear how soon the Supreme Court may act.