On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, ruling that states with the longest histories of voting discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government. A month after that decision, North Carolina—where 40 counties were previously subject to that requirement—passed the country’s most sweeping voting restrictions.
The state required strict voter ID to cast a ballot, cut a week of early voting, and eliminated same-day voter registration, out-of-precinct voting, and preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds. On July 29, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated these restrictions, which it said targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision” in violation of the Voting Rights Act and 14th Amendment.
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