NC voting

Vote Here sign
Tom Bullock / WFAE

Early voting begins Thursday in Mecklenburg County and across North Carolina. Because of a federal appeals court decision, it's an earlier start this year than Republican lawmakers wanted.

Early voting cuts were part of a 2013 election overhaul the appeals judges described as "the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow."

UPDATE: The group of young voters appealed the federal district court decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Oct. 19, that court also denied the young voters' request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. 

In the fight over early voting in North Carolina, one of the things that stands out in a recent decision is who sat on the sidelines.

The U.S. Justice Department, the North Carolina NAACP and the state chapter of the League of Women Voters did not join a request to adjust early voting plans in five counties. Only one group of plaintiffs from the N.C. voting lawsuits made that request: young voters known as the Duke Intervenors. 

vote here sign
Jennifer Lang

African-American turnout, partisan politics and the threat of more lawsuits were all on the minds of North Carolina Board of Elections members yesterday. They set the final early voting plans for 33 counties that couldn’t reach their own agreement, including Mecklenburg.

Michael Tomsic / WFAE

About a month ago, a federal appeals court struck down major parts of the North Carolina's 2013 election overhaul, ruling that Republicans passed them with discriminatory intent. Thursday morning, the state Board of Elections will consider new plans that technically follow that ruling, but in some cases, still cut voting options African-Americans disproportionately use.


The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected North Carolina's request to reinstate its voting overhaul this November.

It's not a final ruling in the case. But for this election, it means North Carolina can't use a variety of Republican changes a federal appeals court found were passed with discriminatory intent.

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

The North Carolina NAACP, the League of Women Voters and others are asking the U.S. Supreme Court not to reinstate major voting changes in North Carolina. They filed their response Thursday to Governor Pat McCrory's request to put aside an appeals court decision.

Federal courts have struck down voting laws in North Carolina and several other states recently. WFAE's Michael Tomsic has this national roundup.  

Denise Cross Photography

Mecklenburg County's board of elections voted Monday night to cut the total hours of early voting by about 9 percent this year. But the state board of elections will have the final say.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate North Carolina's voting overhaul. He’s requesting an appeals court decision be put on hold through November.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the election changes last month, ruling that GOP lawmakers passed them with discriminatory intent.

I Voted stickers
Tom Bullock / WFAE

The recent federal appeals court decision that struck down North Carolina’s voting law made a lot of things clear. There won’t be voter ID in the November election, for example. But the number of early voting hours remains unclear – and will depend on where you live.