That request comes on the heels of the recent amendment to the law providing that voters lacking an acceptable photo ID can still cast a ballot after signing an affidavit that states they had a reasonable impediment to obtaining one.
The state contends the amendment moots the claims that the voter ID provisions are unconstitutional.
The law’s challengers argue though that even with the amendment the right to vote is still burdened, in part because of uncertainty over how election officials statewide will implement the reasonable impediment provision — particularly in light of a possible March 2016 election. They point to a lack of any plan to educate poll workers and other election officials on how the amendment will work and also to lawmaker statements indicating an intent to repeal the reasonable impediment provision as soon as possible. They are asking the the court to allow them to amend their complaint to challenge the amendment.
Today’s hearing will proceed even as the parties in the pending federal cases challenging the 2013 law have indicated they may be able to reach a settlement of the voter ID claims, depending upon an agreement of conditions needed by challengers to ensure voter protection.
A report to U.S. Judge Thomas B. Schroeder on the status of those negotiations is expected by September 18, 2015.
(Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that plaintiffs in the federal cases would report to Judge Schroeder on the status of settlement negotiations over the voter ID claims early this week. That has been corrected to reflect the correct date for such a report — September 18, 2015.)