North Carolina NAACP Chapter Sues State for Alleged Voter Suppression
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North Carolina NAACP Chapter Sues State for Alleged Voter Suppression

Thousands of voters have been removed from the voter rolls and should be restored, lawsuit says

October 31, 2016
Updated: October 31, 2016

The North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is suing the State of North Carolina and requesting that a federal court prevent local elections boards from removing voters from the rolls.

The court, says the suit, should restore to the rolls thousands of voters who have been removed in Moore and Beaufort counties due to individual challenges.

According to the NAACP, many of the affected voters moved to new residences within the counties in which they are registered and should still be eligible to vote in those counties.

Although federal law does not allow boards of election from removing voter registrations within 90 days of an election, state law does.

Reverand William Barber is the president of the North Carolina NAACP. He is accusing GOP members of making the challenges as part of an organized attempt to take black voters off the rolls by claiming that voter fraud has occurred.

"Voter fraud is not the issue, but voter suppression is real, it's planned, it's intentional and it's ongoing against the African-American community," Barber said. "In many cases, voters purged by the state still reside at the addresses where they are registered to vote or have moved within the county and remain eligible to vote there."

The director of the North Carolina Board of Elections claims that federal law has been interpreted in such a way that individual challenges to voter registration are not prohibited.

Update: A federal court has scheduled an emergency hearing for Wednesday, November 2, 2016, to hear the NAACP's case.