The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last month to block North Carolina's new voter ID law, which some critics have called the most sweeping of its kind.
The law was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in August, just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act requiring a handful of mostly Southern states to obtain federal preapproval before making any changes to their voting laws. Although the entire state of North Carolina wasn't subject to that provision, several of its counties were. The state's new law, which is scheduled to take effect before the 2016 elections, requires voters to show a valid, government-issued ID before casting a ballot, in addition to eliminating early voting and same-day registration during early voting and prohibiting the counting of provisional ballots cast by voters at the wrong polling place. The federal government alleges the state was "willfully discriminatory" when it passed the law, a charge that was based on a recent analysis indicating that a large percentage of the state's registered voters without government-issued IDs, as well as early voters, voters who cast out-of-precinct ballots, and voters who use same-day registration are African-American. (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER)
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