A North Carolina judge will decide before the November election, on the constitutionality of the state's requirement to show photo identification in order to vote in person.
Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan rejected calls from lawyers for the state and legislature to assign the case to a three-judge panel or dismiss it altogether. Instead, he set the case for trial beginning Sept. 26. The lawsuit which generated the trial was filed by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, the North Carolina League of Women Voters, the A. Phillip Randolph Institute and individual voters. A decision will likely come in days of October. Early in-person voting begins Oct. 27.
Judge Morgan, a Democrat, is running for state Supreme Court against incumbent Justice Bob Edmunds who is a registered Republican.
Democrats have generally opposed the voter ID rules.
Additionally, a federal case over North Carolina's voter ID requirement is pending before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In the federal case, voter ID requirement argue the law violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The state lawsuit hinges on whether voter ID represents an additional qualification for voting not envisioned by the state constitution.
Advocates of voter ID say that it will help cut down on in-person voter fraud. Opponents of the voter ID requirement say that it will disenfranchise vulnerable populations, including the very poor, students and elderly voters who might have problems getting IDs either due to trouble rounding up the necessary documents or making it to a state Division of Motor Vehicles office.