Courts & the Law, News

Voters appeal three-judge panel decision not to halt voter ID law during litigation

Six North Carolina voters who are challenging North Carolina’s new voter ID law filed a notice of appeal today after a Wake County Superior Court judicial panel denied their request to stop the measure from taking effect during litigation.

Those voters filed a lawsuit the day Senate Bill 824 was enacted, the measure implementing a constitutional amendment that requires a photo ID to vote. They alleged the new law is racially discriminatory and will result in eligible voters being disenfranchised.

They are represented by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) and had asked the court to block the law from going into effect during the pendency of the litigation, but the three-judge panel stated in their recent ruling that they don’t believe the plaintiffs will succeed on the merits of their case.

The judges dismissed five of the plaintiffs’ six claims in the lawsuit and ruled 2-1 not to halt enforcement of North Carolina’s Voter ID statute until litigation concludes.

“North Carolina’s history of discriminatory voter ID laws, combined with our experience in the March 2016 primary when a similar ID law was in effect, tells us that the Court’s denial of the preliminary injunction will result in widespread confusion and disenfranchisement if left in place,” said Allison Riggs, senior voting rights attorney at SCSJ. “We do not think the majority’s decision was well-founded, based on the extensive evidence presented to the Court, and we are hopeful that North Carolina’s higher courts will agree on appeal. On behalf of Plaintiffs in this case, we will keep fighting to protect their rights and the rights of all North Carolina voters.”

Read the organization’s full news release about the appeal here.

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