RALEIGH, N.C.-- A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina's November election can be held under new voting rules drafted last year by Republican lawmakers.U.S. District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder on Friday denied a motion seeking to hold the November vote under old rules, pending a trial scheduled for next year.
A coalition of groups, including the League of Women Voters and the NAACP, filed suit over more than two dozen changes to voting laws approved by the GOP-controlled state legislature in 2013.
The groups say the changes are designed to suppress turnout at the polls among minorities, the elderly and college students - blocs considered more likely to vote for Democrats.
Schroeder also denied a state-submitted motion seeking to have the case dismissed, setting the stage for the trial.
The North Carolina Board of Elections released this statement about the ruling: "We are partnering with civic organizations across the political spectrum to implement new voting requirements in a way that serves all communities in our state," said Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach of the State Board of Elections. "Outreach staff at the State Board will continue our efforts to ensure that every voter has the opportunity to participate this November."
A trial on the merits is scheduled for July 2015.