WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Oct. 2, the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans filed a federal lawsuit challenging a North Carolina anti-voting law that requires prospective voters to reside in the state for at least 30 days prior to the election in which they seek to vote.
The new lawsuit asserts that the state’s 30-day “pre-election durational residency requirement” — which voters must attest to satisfying on voter registration forms — “is longer than the registration deadline and therefore prevents voters who could otherwise lawfully register and cast ballots from doing so just because they moved into the state too recently.”
The North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans alleges that under North Carolina’s durational residency requirement, voters who move to the state within 30 days of Election Day are prevented from voting in presidential and vice presidential elections even though the state allows otherwise eligible voters to register within 20 days of Election Day and up until the Saturday before Election Day using the state’s same-day registration process. Thus, even if a voter moved to North Carolina in time for same-day voter registration, they could not take advantage of this opportunity if they have not lived in the state for more than 30 days before the next election.
The lawsuit contends that the “arbitrary” durational residency requirement violates Section 202(c) of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits states from preventing otherwise eligible voters from voting for president and vice president based on how long they have resided in the state before Election Day. The complaint also claims that the requirement contravenes the First and 14th Amendments by placing an undue burden on the right to vote.
The new lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the state from denying eligible North Carolinians the ability to register and vote in all elections on the basis of their failure to meet the 30-day requirement.