RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Changes to North Carolina’s voting access rules finally go to federal trial Monday, nearly two years after lawsuits were filed accusing lawmakers of approving restrictions that would discourage minority residents from voting.
The U.S. Justice Department, advocacy groups and individuals sued soon after the General Assembly approved the 2013 elections overhaul law. The Winston-Salem trial will focus on provisions that reduced the number of days of early voting, eliminated same-day registration during the early-vote period and prohibited the counting of Election Day ballots cast in wrong precincts.
Attorneys for the state and Gov. Pat McCrory defending the law point out black voter participation increased during the 2014 elections under the new rules.
The trial will last up to three weeks. A voter ID mandate won’t be discussed for now.