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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.

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Throughout the campaign for US Senate you’ve heard this line again and again from Speaker Thom Tillis:

"Senator Hagan has voted with President Obama 96 percent of the time. She’s served as a rubber stamp to President Obama’s failed policies."

Tonight when Hagan and Tillis meet for their third and final debate, you’re almost guaranteed to hear that statistic again. We were wondering why this has become the go-to attack for Tillis, so Tom Bullock to join Morning Edition host Marshall Terry for our Thursday political chat.

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Federal appeals court judges ruled Wednesday the U.S. Justice Department is likely to succeed in its argument that North Carolina's election overhaul will deny or curtail African-Americans' right to vote. The appeals court ordered North Carolina to put some changes on hold this November. WFAE's Michael Tomsic joins us now to explain why.

A voter registration mailing sent by an arm of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has prompted hundreds of calls to the North Carolina Board of Elections.

Many were addressed to dead people, under-age children, even a cat. They also contained some incorrect information. For example, the mailers told people they needed to register at least thirty days before the election. In North Carolina they have until October 10, 25 days before the election.    

The Republican state Senate candidate in Wilmington is likely to spend a few months in the job before he faces his Democratic opponent in the November election. The New Hanover County GOP nominated Michael Lee to fill out the remainder of State Senator Thom Goolsby's term. Goolsby resigned last week. 

State law essentially requires Governor Pat McCrory to now appoint Lee to fill out the remainder of Goolsby's Senate term.

Goolsby has called for Lee to replace him, and said he was resigning early to give the Republican candidate a "running start" in the legislature. 

Imagine the nasty notes you’d receive if you were four weeks late on your rent or mortgage.

If a pregnancy went four weeks long doctors would induce labor.

But if you’re a lawmaker, or a whole group of them in Raleigh, and your budget is four weeks late as of today, well…

So what is taking the pressure off lawmakers to get a budget deal done?

Unless you’ve spent your summer on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson you know the issues holding up the budget are teacher pay, teaching assistants and Medicaid payments.

A federal judge will decide within the next month or two whether to put some parts of North Carolina's sweeping election law on hold. All week in Winston-Salem, the U.S. Justice Department, the NAACP, and other groups tried to convince Judge Thom Schroeder that the changes would deny or curtail African-Americans' right to vote. WFAE's Michael Tomsic covered the hearings in Winston-Salem, which wrapped up Thursday.

  In Winston-Salem this morning, a federal judge will continue questioning U.S. Justice Department lawyers on whether North Carolina's election overhaul violates the Voting Rights Act. All week, Judge Thom Schroeder has heard the Justice Department try to make that case, along with the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and other groups. They're suing North Carolina, and this week they're trying to convince a judge to put the changes on hold.

WFAE's Michael Tomsic has been in Winston-Salem covering the hearings.

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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.

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.