UPDATE: Supreme Court blocks same-day
registration, out-of-precinct voting
By CATHERINE KOZAK
U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped a recent lower court ruling
that would have allowed same-day voting in North Carolina and counting
of votes miscast in the wrong precinct.
With the high court’s
5-2 decision, state residents have only two more days to register to
vote in the Nov. 4 general election. The deadline is again Oct.
10 at 5 p.m.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit ruled that a district court must stay a provision in the
state 2013 election law that no longer provided voters with the option
to register and vote on the same day during the early voting period.
The three-judge panel also ordered that the district court issue an
injunction on a provision that barred out-of-precinct voters from
having their vote counted.
In response, state leaders
submitted an application to the Supreme Court to “stay the mandate” of
the Court of Appeals, meaning that the preliminary injunction that
prevented the two provisions from going into effect would lifted.
high court gave no explanation for reversing the Appeals Court action.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in
dissenting, based on concern about the 2013 law having a
disproportionate impact on minority voters.
Court's ruling ends the legal dispute over implementing the state's
2013 voting law in next month's general election -- before legal
challenges to its constitutionality are settled. However, U.S.
District Judge Thomas Schroeder has set a trial for July 2015 to hear
arguments for and against constitutional questions raised by the new
Dare County elections director Melva Garrison said that the
steps to address last week’s Appeals Court ruling had not yet been
implemented, so there is no change on the local level.
Garrison said that as of Thursday morning, 27,999 people have registered to vote in Dare County.
“It’s growing,” she said of the electorate.