ACLU, Southern Coalition for Social Justice Ask Federal Court to Put N.C. Voter Suppression Law on Hold for Midterm Election
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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 preliminary injunction to place key portions of the law on hold until the trial.
"Voters are at real risk of being blocked from participating in the pivotal midterm election," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "If this law is subsequently found unconstitutional, as we fully expect it will be, North Carolinians who were denied the vote will never get a do-over."
The case, League of Women Voters of North Carolina et al. v. North Carolina, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. It was brought on behalf of the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, North Carolina Common Cause, Unifour Onestop Collaborative, and several individuals.
The lawsuit targets provisions of the law 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.
"We believe all eligible North Carolinians have a right to participate in the political process even if some politicians seem to think otherwise," said Southern Coalition for Social Justice staff attorney Allison Riggs.
The motion for preliminary injunction is available at: