Case Name: League of Women Voters of North Carolina et al. v. North Carolina
The ACLU, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice successfully challenged North Carolina's 2013 voter suppression law that imposed a voter ID requirement, and eliminated same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and a week of early voting. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have used those methods to register and cast a ballot in recent elections.
The lawsuit was filed the very day the law was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in August 2013. The suit targeted provisions of the law that eliminated a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit "out-of-precinct" voting. The lawsuit argued that these cuts unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African-American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit blocked the law from going into effect, restoring a week of early voting, same-day registration, preregistration, and out-of-precinct provisional voting, as well as blocking a voter ID requirement. The court found the law was enacted “with discriminatory intent” and targeted African-American voters with “almost surgical precision.” That ruling ensured that the law, which could have prevented thousands of North Carolinians from being able to vote, would not be in effect for the 2016 elections.
On May 15, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case, meaning the law was permanently blocked from going into effect.
The ACLU lawsuit was filed on behalf of several individual North Carolinians who face substantial hardship under the law, and on behalf of organizations whose efforts to promote voter participation in future elections will be severely hampered if the measure takes effect, including the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute, North Carolina Common Cause, and Unifour Onestop Collaborative.