Judges Next To Examine Broad Voting Changes In State

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Judges will now decide whether an elections overhaul in North Carolina requiring photo identification to vote and scaling back early voting is discriminatory or permitted under the law.

Several groups and voters filed two lawsuits in federal court challenging the law soon after Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill Monday. Some of the same groups also planned to sue in state court soon.

Lawyers challenging the law said at a news conference Tuesday they have a strong case and the totality of changes will be horrendous for black voters. Republicans who passed the bill disagree and say provisions are similar to those in other states.

Duke University law professor Guy Charles says the plaintiffs face an uphill battle to prevail but some provisions could be hard for legislators to justify.

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The NAACP announced a press conference for Tuesday morning at 9:30 am in Durham saying the group will take legal action in response to the new state law requiring voters show ID at the polls.

The NAACP says the law could keep African Americans from having an equal voting opportunity.

Governor Pat McCrory signed the voter ID bill into law Monday, which requires all voters to provide photo identification before filling out ballots. Those in favor say it could eliminate voter fraud, but those opposed, worry it's preventing voters from acting out their rights as Americans.

We asked people in Greenville what they think.

"If you're a U.S. citizen you should have an ID anyway," said Christopher Davis.

"I think he's losing votes from people who are valid voters, and at the end of the day, it's just another way for the government to make you pay more money," said Beau Connors.

The bill calls for anyone without a photo ID to be able to get one free of charge for voting purposes at the DMV.
Gov. Pat McCrory has quietly signed into law a Republican-supported measure that makes sweeping changes in how and when people can cast their ballots in North Carolina. Within hours, two lawsuits had been filed to challenge the new act.

There was no formal ceremony marking the bill signing. McCrory's press office sent out a statement saying he signed the legislation Monday and also posted a 95-second message on YouTube giving his reasons. Governor McCrory says anyone will be able to get a voter ID for free at the DMV.

Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper had written to McCrory urging him to veto the measure.

Republicans have said the legislation is meant to prevent voter fraud, which they claim is both rampant and undetected. But non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and libertarians suggested the true goal is to suppress voter turnout, especially among blacks, the young, the elderly and the poor.

Monday afternoon, several groups announced they had filed lawsuits challenging the new law. Those groups include the NAACP and the League of Women Voters.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)