North Carolina’s New Election Restrictions Are Turning Away Voters

North Carolina’s New Election Restrictions Are Turning Away Voters

2:25 pm

North Carolina's New Election Restrictions Are Turning Away Voters

North Carolina’s New Election Restrictions Are Turning Away Voters

SOUTH RALEIGH, NC — At two polling places south of the city center, voters are turning up in steady numbers throughout the morning. But many of them aren’t casting ballots: they are being turned away because they aren’t at their correct precinct.

Rhonda Little, who has been outside Fuller GT Elementary School all morning, said one woman she spoke with had visited eight different polling places before finally ending up at the correct one. That doesn’t surprise Art Lieberman, a voter protection volunteer stationed at Chavis Community Center, a sprawling recreation complex off of the busy Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“Probably my guess is, 8 out of 10 people are at the wrong precinct,” he said. Voters who have turned up here are being sent to their correct polling places, but it’s unclear how many of them actually follow up.

Lieberman said that the cause is most likely North Carolina’s new law that eliminated out-of-precinct voting. In October, the Supreme Court blocked a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that reinstated the practice. The lower court had reasoned that eliminating out-of-precinct voting would disproportionately impact African American voters.

“For early voting, people could vote anywhere,” Lieberman said. “People would come here for early voting two years ago, and so this year people come here on the day and they think they’re allowed to vote here.”

— Adam Peck

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