The NAACP and others challenging changes to North Carolina’s election law overhaul in 2013 are seeking to block the photo ID requirement for the March primaries.
The challengers filed a request in federal court on Tuesday seeking a preliminary injunction that would keep the current law in place until their legal challenge can be fully heard.
Attorneys for the state lawmakers standing behind the ID requirement have voiced opposition to the NAACP request. In court documents filed earlier this month, attorneys for the state said they think the legal challenge can be heard and decided before the March primaries.
When lawmakers added the requirement that voters have photo IDs by 2016 to vote, they contended that the measure was necessary to prevent voter fraud.
Few voter fraud cases have been brought and prosecuted in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States.
Challengers contend the requirement is meant to “suppress” the minority and young vote. They argue that North Carolina’s list of acceptable IDs, which excludes college and university student ID cards, is the most restrictive in the country.
In August, a federal court struck down a Texas law requiring voters to show authorized identification before casting ballots, saying the measure violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act through its “discriminatory effects.”
North Carolina lawmakers amended the state requirement shortly before that ruling and added a provision that gives voters who can show they were unable to obtain an ID a chance to cast a provisional ballot.