Yesterday, a coalition of voting rights advocates and North Carolina citizens asked a federal judge in Winston-Salem to issue an interim order to prevent widespread disenfranchisement in the November 2016 general election before the lawsuit they filed is resolved.
Action NC, Democracy North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and three North Carolina voters filed a lawsuit against state officials in charge of the State Board of Elections (SBOE), the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) alleging pervasive violations of National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) by DHHS and the DMV. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by Morrison & Foerster LLP, Demos, Project Vote, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
“North Carolina’s NVRA violations are keeping eligible North Carolina citizens off the rolls, and, if uncorrected, will prevent these citizens from participating in the presidential election in November,” said Matthew D’Amore, a partner at Morrison & Foerster, which is representing the coalition pro bono. “The Board of Elections hasn’t fixed the problems raised in the complaint, and immediate action by the Court is therefore necessary to ensure that the state fulfills its obligations to provide critical voter registration opportunities to the people of North Carolina so they can vote this fall.”
In their request for a preliminary injunction, the advocates cite evidence that North Carolinians were turned away from the polls during last week’s presidential primary election, despite having attempted to register to vote at the DMV. They also point to evidence demonstrating that DHHS is systematically ignoring the NVRA’s requirements that it provides voter registration opportunities to its clients.