Early Voting

On day two, the trial over North Carolina's election overhaul touched on the state's long history of racial discrimination and its brief debate over sweeping voting changes. The U.S. Justice Department, the League of Women Voters and others suing North Carolina used a mix of personal stories and expert testimony in Winston-Salem on Tuesday.

One of the major accusations is that state lawmakers intentionally discriminated against minorities when they passed the changes two years ago. How did that argument play out in court yesterday?

Michael Tomsic / WFAE

The federal trial over North Carolina’s sweeping election overhaul began Monday in Winston-Salem with pointed accusations in court and a massive march right outside it. The U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP and others are suing the state. They accuse Republican lawmakers of taking aim at several voting methods that minorities disproportionately relied on.

Kandice Phelps and about 70 other young people rode buses from Salisbury to the march. Phelps is a 17-year-old African-American who plans to be the first from her family to go to college. 

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A federal trial starts in Winston-Salem on Monday morning that will have big implications for voting rights in North Carolina and, potentially, across the country. The U.S. Justice Department and several groups are suing North Carolina over the sweeping election overhaul it passed two years ago. Federal appeals court judges have already indicated that some of the changes likely violate the Voting Rights Act.

Flickr/AndyCarvin

Two parts of North Carolina's sweeping election overhaul are now back on hold. But the change likely doesn't mean much because there are no elections between now and the full trial on the overhaul.

Flickr/AndyCarvin

A group that's challenging North Carolina's voting overhaul in federal court will take a different argument to state court Friday. The League of Women Voters and other plaintiffs are asking a judge in Raleigh to toss out a photo ID requirement that starts next year.

Alberta Currie has turned out for election after election in North Carolina since the 1950s. But she doesn't have a photo ID and worries she doesn't have the right documents to get one.

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The State Board of Elections says it may order a recount of the Supreme Court race between Cheri Beasley and Mike Robinson. The margin between Beasley and Robinson is just over 5,000 votes. State law allows for an automatic right to a recount in statewide races when the margin is under 0.5 percent or 10,000 votes, whichever is lower. Robinson will have to submit a written demand to the State Board before noon on November 18 if he wants a recount. 

N.C. Board of Elections.

Early voting turnout increased about 40 percent in Mecklenburg County compared to the last midterm election, according to the county board of elections. That's despite seven fewer days of early voting as a result of the state's sweeping election overhaul.

Tasnim Shamma /

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Senator Kay Hagan on Saturday in Charlotte on Hagan's "early voting tour."

About 2,000 people showed up to hear Clinton speak at the Charlotte Convention Center. Clinton urged women to vote and said there need to be more women like Senator Kay Hagan in Washington.

Twelfth Congressional District Candidate Alma Adams of Greensboro was the warm-up act. She said Republican extremists have taken over the state legislature. She called state House Speaker Thom Tillis an "Uncle Tom." 

David / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that North Carolina can move forward with voting restrictions this November. The court is effectively nullifying an appeals court ruling last week that said parts of North Carolina's election overhaul would cause African-Americans irreparable harm this November. It's the latest step – but not the last – in lawsuits against the overhaul Republicans passed last year.

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Lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department will be back in a federal courtroom in Winston-Salem this morning to continue making their case that North Carolina's sweeping election overhaul is discriminatory. The hearings that began Monday morning have included personal stories of voting challenges, allegations of voter fraud, and even a 25-minute math exercise. WFAE's Michael Tomsic has been in Winston-Salem covering the hearings.

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