US Supreme Court sides with NC on voting rules

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked a federal appeals court ruling from taking effect that would have restored same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting in North Carolina for this fall's election.

A majority on the nation's highest court agreed Wednesday to halt the ruling of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that set aside parts of the 2013 election law approved by state lawmakers. Two justices dissented.

The decision means the full law will remain enforced while the state and civil rights groups that challenged the law prepare for trial next summer.

So there will be no same-day registration during early voting when it begins Oct. 23, and Election Day ballots cast in the wrong precinct won't be counted. The full law was enforced during the May primary as well.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections reminded voters that the ruling means the "hard deadline" to register is Friday, and Election Day voters must cast ballots at their assigned polling location.

Prominent Republicans in North Carolina, including Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, issued statements applauding the ruling.

"I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has ensured this popular and common sense bill will apply to the upcoming election," said McCrory.

Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the ruling creates a burden for some voters.

"We believe voters should be able to participate in elections without having to navigate unjust obstacles. Unfortunately that will not be the case for North Carolinians heading into the upcoming election."

WBTV Web Team also contributed to this story.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press and WBTV Television)