[JURIST] A North Carolina state judge on Friday allowed [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit regarding voter ID laws in North Carolina to proceed to a summer trial, refusing to uphold or strike down the voter requirements as is. The lawsuit, filed by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina [official website], A. Phillip Randolph Institute [advocacy website] and and five female voters makes claims that requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls violates the North Carolina Constitution. Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan dismissed two of six claims made in the lawsuit, but said that most of the claims in the lawsuit are strong enough to go to trial. However, he denied a motion by the plaintiffs seeking to stop voting officials from requiring voters to show ID at polls. Four lawsuits are currently pending challenging the state’s 2013 change to its voting laws.
Voter ID laws [JURIST backgrounder] have been a contentious issue in many states recently. In January the American Civil Liberties Union filed [JURIST report] a petition asking the US Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court ruling upholding Wisconsin’s voter ID law. In October the Supreme Court allowed [JURIST report] Texas to enforce a strict 2011 voter ID law requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls. Also in October the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] the state’s voter ID, law finding it unconstitutional. In May then-Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett announced [JURIST report] that the Office of General Counsel would not pursue an appeal in defense of the Commonwealth’s voter ID law.