Durham, N.C. — Voters in North Carolina who choose to vote by mail will have greater clarity around the process for correcting mistakes on their ballot envelope following a ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The rulings by Judge William L. Osteen, in line with his preliminary injunction order instructing that North Carolina voters who make a mistake on their ballot must receive notice and an opportunity to fix mistakes, will help ensure a greater number of North Carolina ballots are counted this General Election.
Durham, N.C. — Democracy North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and individual North Carolina voters who have or plan to vote by mail this General Election have filed motions in two different federal lawsuits to guarantee that all absentee vote-by-mail ballots are counted, even if the voter makes a mistake when filling out their ballot envelope.
Durham, N.C. — Two organizations focused on advancing equality and increasing political participation have filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s Strict Liability Voting Law, a vague and racially discriminatory law that makes it a felony for North Carolina residents to vote if they are on parole, probation or post-release supervision for a felony conviction, even if they mistakenly believe they are eligible to vote. Virtually every other election crime punishable as a Class I felony in North Carolina requires intent. The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting prospective enforcement of the law, including for the 2020 General Election.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Eases Access to Voting for Nearly 1.3 Million Medicaid Recipients
Durham, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has begun mailing voter registration forms to nearly 1.3 million Medicaid recipients who have had their benefits automatically renewed within the past year. Additionally, moving forward, voter registration forms will be mailed out with the correspondence DHHS already sends to Medicaid recipients whose benefits have been automatically renewed.
Durham, N.C. — A three-judge panel in Wake County Superior Court declined to lift a preliminary injunction against North Carolina’s voter ID law in Holmes v. Moore, saying a modification to the list of permissible IDs approved by the legislature this summer does not resolve concerns that the voter ID law discriminates against voters of color.
Durham, N.C. — A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction that will put in place some key measures to help ensure North Carolina voters will be able to cast their ballots safely in November’s General Election, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The injunction by Judge William L. Osteen in Democracy North Carolina et al vs North Carolina State Board of Elections et al will make it easier for people to vote by mail and to help make sure all mail-in ballots are counted.
Durham, N.C. — In a unanimous, bipartisan 4-0 vote, the North Carolina State Board of Elections overturned a decision by the Wayne County Board of Elections and upheld Bevan Julius Foster’s win in the Wayne County Board of Commissioners District 3 Democratic Primary.
Durham, N.C. — By a decision of 3-2 following a formal hearing on July 7, 2020, the Wayne County Board of Elections has accepted the allegations of an election protest challenging the result of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners District 3 Democratic Primary, held on March 3, 2020. If that decision stands, it will overturn Bevan Julius Foster’s win in that contest. Foster, a Black man who had previously served on the Goldsboro City Council, won the primary with 40.78% of the votes. His win was challenged on the basis that Foster does not live in his district and thus was not eligible to run.
Durham, N.C. — The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is proud to support the “Good Trouble” campaign to fight voter suppression and increase voter registration in advance of November’s critical general election.
Voting Rights Organizations Provide Guidance to North Carolina Counties on Addressing Potential Early Voting Issues
Durham, N.C. — As North Carolina counties begin planning for the 2020 General Election, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Democracy North Carolina have started sending letters to the boards of elections in 27 counties offering information and research on how best to serve voters in their communities amid funding and public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Letters to 33 additional counties will be sent in the coming weeks.
Durham, N.C. — By a decision of 3-2 following a formal hearing, the Wayne County Board of Elections upheld Bevan Julius Foster’s win in the Wayne County Board of Commissioners District 3 Democratic Primary, which was held March 3, 2020. Foster, a Black man who previously served on the Goldsboro City Council, won the primary with 40.78% of the votes. His win was challenged by three people who alleged he did not reside in the district he would be representing, and thus was not eligible to run.
SCSJ’s Chief Counsel for Voting Rights and Interim Executive Director Wins 2020 David Carliner Public Interest Award
Durham, N.C. — Allison Riggs, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Chief Counsel for Voting Rights and Interim Executive Director, has been selected as one of two winners of the David Carliner Public Interest Award for her innovative work and commitment to protecting civil and human rights. The award, presented annually by the American Constitution Society, honors a mid-career public interest attorney who exemplifies fearless, uncompromising and creative advocacy on behalf of marginalized people.
Durham, N.C. — On behalf of Democracy North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and eight individual voters, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Fair Elections Center and pro bono counsel from law firm WilmerHale have formally requested that a federal court temporarily amend some of the state’s voting laws to guarantee that North Carolinians can vote safely in November’s general election in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Voting Rights Organizations File Federal Lawsuit to Ensure North Carolina Holds Fair, Safe Elections in November
Durham, N.C. — On behalf of Democracy North Carolina, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina and six individual voters, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Fair Elections Center and pro bono counsel from law firm WilmerHale have filed a lawsuit demanding North Carolina take the necessary steps to guarantee a fair, safe election in November, given the likelihood that the state and the country will still be experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SCSJ Issues 4th Annual Racial Equity Report Cards Highlighting Disparities in North Carolina Public Schools
Durham, N.C. — While Black students make up 25% of children in North Carolina public schools, they receive 55.2% of all short-term suspensions. White students, who comprise 47.3% of all students, only receive 25.8% of all suspensions. These and other findings of disparity are detailed in the statewide Racial Equity Report Card issued today by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Southern Coalition for Social Justice Files Amicus Brief To Help Protect North Carolina Voters From Intimidation
Durham, N.C. — The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) has filed a brief of amici curiae (“friend of the Court” brief) in support of the defendants in Public Interest Legal Foundation v. North Carolina State Board of Elections, which is currently pending in front of the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. SCSJ filed the brief on behalf of the Association of Mexicans in North America, Inc., El Pueblo, Inc. and North Carolina Asian Americans Together, nonprofit organizations that advocate on behalf of minority populations across North Carolina, seeking to highlight for the appeals court the risk to voters of color if the decision below is not affirmed.
North Carolina Court of Appeals Blocks Voter ID Law in Key Win for Southern Coalition for Social Justice
Durham, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals yesterday issued a key decision in Holmes v. Moore, blocking the state’s voter ID law from taking effect until the trial of the case has concluded. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of S.B. 824, which was passed in December 2018 following the approval of a state constitutional amendment requiring people in North Carolina to present an ID before voting.
SCSJ Launches CROWD Academies To Protect Voting Rights of Communities of Color During Post-2020 Census Redistricting Process
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) is partnering with community organizations in six states to offer in-depth training sessions to educate community organizers on the redistricting process and potential voting rights violations following the 2020 census. Community Redistricting Organizations Working for Democracy (CROWD) Academies will equip individuals and organizations with tools to monitor and engage with redistricting processes at every level of government, spot warning signs and take action if decisions are likely to infringe on the right to an equal opportunity to participate in elections.