Fourth Circuit Restores Pro-Voter Practices to North Carolina

Posted by Drew Spencer Penrose on July 29, 2016

Today the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a lower court in North Carolina and struck down many parts of an omnibus elections bill passed in North Carolina. The struck down bill implemented a strict voter ID law (like those analyzed in FairVote’s new report on voter turnout), and repealed the state’s early voting, same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration practices. Election law scholar Rick Hasen had referred to the law as “the largest collection of voting rollbacks contained in a single law . . . since the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act.”

When the repealed reforms at issue in the case were first considered in North Carolina, FairVote was a leader on the issue of voter preregistration and supported its passage alongside Democracy North Carolina. Its repeal sparked protests, including an inspiring speech from a then 12-year-old North Carolinian named Madison Kimrey, who vowed that preregistration would again be the law by the time she turned 16 (which will be next year). We are proud to see preregistration firmly back in place.

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