Legal Action Filed To Stop GOP’s Suppression Of Key Swing State’s Voters

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There is a new federal lawsuit out of North Carolina after Republicans in the state legislature imposed harsh new restrictions around balloting for state residents utilizing same-day voter registration, which generally entails registration that is completed at the polling place.

In short, the new state bill, which Republicans imposed via successfully overriding a veto from the state’s Democratic governor, mandates that same-day registering voters have their ballots removed from the count if a single piece of mail seeking to verify their address post-voting is returned to authorities as undeliverable. And there’s apparently no option for the affected voter to be notified or contest the removal of their ballot from tabulations! These details represent a sharp break with the past handling of same-day registration for North Carolina voters. North Carolina only allows same-day registration during early voting, not Election Day itself. Over 100,000 North Carolinians used the process in the 2022 general elections — and in statewide races, results have recently been close in the state.

Thus, it’s feasible that pushing eligible voters out of the process without even an option for re-establishing their vote could swing an election. Returning a single piece of mail as undeliverable isn’t in any manner a confirmation that a same-day registering voter doesn’t actually live at the location, since a significant portion of ostensibly undeliverable mail traces, in fact, to human error at the Postal Service. And some groups, like low-income residents or certain marginalized communities, might have higher rates of moving than others — meaning affected persons from such categories may have lived, in fact, exactly where they claimed when casting their ballot.

Previously, two pieces of mail returned as undeliverable were required before kickstarting what could culminate in removing a same-day registering voter’s ballot from the count. The new lawsuit challenging the change is from Voto Latino, the Watauga County Voting Rights Task Force, Down Home North Carolina, and individual North Carolinians. Check out more right here from the organization Democracy Docket.