Efforts to Enjoin the Implementation of the New Law Denied

(Alexandria, VA) – January 15. The Public Interest Legal Foundation applauds the denial of efforts to stop North Carolina’s new Voter ID law from being in effect for the March 2016 primary election.  The Order was issued by the federal judge for the Middle District of North Carolina less than two weeks before trial in the case was set to begin on January 25, 2016.

The Voter ID law, enacted in August of 2013, was effective as of January 1, 2016. Interest groups quickly filed suit seeking to overturn the Voter ID law, among other changes to North Carolina’s voting laws.

As the case was pending, the North Carolina legislature modified the Voter ID law to allow voters without an ID to vote so long as they have a “reasonable impediment” that prevented them from obtaining an acceptable ID. Examples of impediments include disability, lack of transportation, or lost or stolen ID. The NAACP sought to enjoin the law, as amended, arguing that the county boards of elections were given too much discretion to determine if an impediment exists and would therefore likely apply the law in a discriminatory manner.

The judge denied the motion, finding that the Supreme Court has already “thoroughly laid out the benefits of a photo-ID requirement” and that the NAACP failed to show that the law will be applied in a discriminatory manner.  The court ruled that the NAACP was unlikely to succeed in the challenge.

The judge also held that an injunction against the law would likely increase, rather than alleviate voter confusion, in light of North Carolina’s extensive efforts to educate the public about the voter ID law and to train election officials about the reasonable impediment exception.

“Nearly every challenge to voter ID laws have failed,” said J. Christian Adams, President and General Counsel of the Foundation. “These laws are critical to ensuring the integrity of our elections and North Carolina has ensured everyone who wants to vote can vote.”

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The Public Interest Legal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity. PILF exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections. Drawing on numerous experts in the field, PILF seeks to protect the right to vote and preserve the Constitutional framework of American elections. Media inquiries: media@publicinterestlegal.org.

Full press release may be found here.