WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice today asked a federal court to hear their legal challenge to North Carolina's sweeping voter suppression law in time for voters to participate in the crucial 2014 midterm elections. In contrast, North Carolina asked the court to delay the trial date well into 2015. The law takes effect next month.
“What is Governor McCrory so afraid of?" said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. “If he truly believes in the integrity of elections, he'd want this case resolved as soon as possible. Instead, he wants these suppressive measures in place during the 2014 elections, making it harder for North Carolinians to vote.”
Immediately after Gov. Pat McCrory signed the voter suppression bill into law in August, the ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed their legal challenge. The suit targets provisions that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit "out-of-precinct" voting. The groups charge that enacting these provisions would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“These measures need to be reviewed for their legality and their constitutionality before the next election,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. "No person's right to vote in North Carolina should be jeopardized without that judicial review.”