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Voting Rights

Voting is the cornerstone of democracy. And yet, throughout our history we have excluded indispensable voices from this fundamental right. African-Americans, women and young people all risked their lives for and eventually gained the right to vote. Voter turnout in the 2008 election was the most racially diverse in American history, closing the longstanding gap between white and minority voter participation. In response to this historic moment, however, lawmakers nationwide have erected more barriers to the ballot box. 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice will present arguments in federal court on Monday, July 7, asking that North Carolina's voter suppression law be placed on hold for the 2014 midterm elections.

"The bottom line is that North Carolinians should be able to vote in the November election without having to navigate the obstacles imposed by this discriminatory law," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina.

The ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged the law last August, but the case is not expected to reach trial until summer 2015. The groups filed a preliminary injunction motion in May to block key portions of the law from being in effect prior to the trial.

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By Molly Rugg, Paralegal, ACLU

Voters get to decide who represents them, but elected officials don't get to decide which eligible voters can and can't vote. Right?

Elected officials in North Carolina think otherwise.

In August, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law that cut early voting by more than a third, eliminating all same-day registration, and got rid of out-of-precinct ballot counting, which meant voters' ballots could be counted for the races they were entitled to vote for, like governor, even if they voted outside of their assigned precinct. We sued.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have asked a federal court to put North Carolina's voter suppression law on hold for the 2014 midterm election.

"North Carolinians should be able to vote in the November election without having to navigate the barriers imposed by this discriminatory law," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina.

The ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice challenged the law last August, but the case is not expected to reach trial until summer 2015. Late last night, the groups filed a request for a preliminary injunction to place key portions of the law on hold until the trial.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A U.S. District Court judge today upheld a magistrate's ruling that rejects an effort by some North Carolina lawmakers to withhold emails and other communications related to passage of the state's sweeping voter suppression law. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice had filed a motion to compel the release of that information after lawmakers refused to do so by claiming "legislative immunity."

 

"This ruling means lawmakers will no longer be allowed to hide behind a veil of secrecy," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "If politicians are going to tamper with people’s fundamental right to vote, we deserve to know why."

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ACLU-NC Voter Guide for 2014 Elections

Posted on in Voting Rights

This guide is designed to help protect your right to vote.  Keep it handy, and take it with you to the polls on Election Day. Download the entire guide here.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 500,000 members dedicated to defending the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the Constitution and our nation’s civil rights laws. The ACLU does not endorse or oppose any candidate or party, but we believe that no civil right in our democracy is more important than the right to vote.

QUICK TIPS FOR VOTERS

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