Two civil rights groups are fighting a law that makes sweeping changes to North Carolina’s elections.
On Monday, the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People filed a lawsuit against Gov. Pat McCrory in federal court.
“This bill is not about voter ID. It is 57 pages of regressive, unconstitutional acts to rig and manipulate elections through voter suppression,” said Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP.
McCrory quietly signed the elections measure on Monday and appeared in a YouTube video to talk about the voter ID provision of the bill.
In the video, he said having a photo ID is a requirement of everyday life.
“In fact, for voters who may not even have a photo ID, they can get one at no charge at a nearby DMV office throughout the state,” he said.
The lawsuit argues that the law violates a section of the Voting Rights Act which bans voting procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. The suit also challenges the law under the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have also filed a lawsuit challenging the new law. They are fighting the provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit "out-of-precinct" voting, which they say will keep minorities and Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls.
The law makes early voting available for fewer days, but supporters say voters will have just as much time to go to the polls. The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections will stay open later on the early voting days.
McCrory said the majority of North Carolinians do support the bill. Polls show support for the voter ID portion of the law, but not for other parts like cutting the number of early voting days.
"These changes are going to affect millions of North Carolinians, and none of this is popular," said Justin Guillory of Progress NC.
In its lawsuit, the ACLU says the new measure will turn Election Day into a mess because of longer lines to vote.