Early Voting

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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." 

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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.

Flickr/Vox Efx

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.

The U.S. Justice Department is arguing before a federal judge in Winston-Salem this week that North Carolina's sweeping election overhaul will deny or curtail African-Americans' right to vote. The Justice Department and civil rights groups are asking the judge to put the changes on hold.

Reverend Milton Williams was among dozens of people stuck in line outside the courthouse, unable to get into the packed hearing.

With the start of early voting for the May primary election, many counties are expanding their voting locations and times to adjust to the new requirements under the 2013 VIVA Law, or the Voter Information Verification Act.

As recently reported, Mecklenburg County will offer more than six times as many early voting hours as it did in the 2010 primary election. But as a result of the VIVA Law, those hours will come during fewer days. 

Denise Cross Photography

Last week a federal judge ruled that some North Carolina lawmakers will have to release emails they exchanged with lobbyists as they were working on the state's sweeping new election law. The judge's order addresses a key question in the lawsuits brought by the U.S. Justice Department and others against the state: How far does the concept of legislative immunity go?


Flickr/Vox Efx

More than a third of North Carolina's counties are asking for an exemption from part of the sweeping election overhaul the General Assembly passed last year. Those exemptions would allow counties to cut early voting periods beyond what the new law already does.


In a recent report, a bi-partisan presidential commission provided several recommendations regarding how Americans vote and promoting “confidence in the administration of U.S. elections.”

Chaired by a Democrat and a Republican, the commission focused its recommendations on the voter registration, poll access, polling place management and voting technology.

On Monday, Governor McCrory signed a new election bill into law, a move that has received a lot of attention nationwide. Supporters of the Republican-backed law say that it will cut down on voter fraud while opponents claim it's a way to suppress voting among groups who tend to lean left. However you see it, the new law will mean changes for every voter in the state. For example, it requires a state issued license or ID to vote, reduces the number of early voting days and ends same-day registration. 

We learn about the changes and find out how voters should prepare themselves before going to the polls. Then, our next guests have been fighting the voter ID bill and now plan to fight the law in court. The state's branch of the NAACP has been protesting this and many other changes coming out of the state legislature in what they call "Moral Monday" rallies and now they're coming to Charlotte. Learn more, when Charlotte Talks.

With much of the discussion of the massive election law revisions coming to North Carolina, many have described the legislation as the “most sweeping voting changes in the country.” 

One aspect of the legislation that has drawn particular focus of the media and analysts is the seven-day reduction in the number of early voting days.

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