Early voting alterations bring tense debate before approval

June 15, 2018 - 12:19 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The General Assembly is nearing final approval of changes to North Carolina's early in-person voting laws that Republicans say promote election uniformity but Democrats argue again discourage black residents from voting.

The House voted Friday along party lines for legislation to adjust the 17-day early voting schedule by ending voting on the Saturday before Election Day and moving that day to the front of the period. A voting rights group says African Americans disproportionately choose to vote on that Saturday compared to their percentage as registered voters.

The changes still must pass the Senate. The legislature wants to wrap up statewide policy bills for the year by Friday.

Republicans tried to alter early voting in 2013, when the days got reduced to 10. Federal judges struck down the law.

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