A U.S. appeals court on Friday struck down struck down North Carolina’s voter identification law that required photo identification before casting ballots, ruling that the law had “racially discriminatory intent” against black residents.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit also struck down changes made in 2013 to early voting, same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and preregistration, which they said ““disproportionately affected” blacks.
The court’s decision is crucial in the swing state, which alternated between the Democrat and Republican nominees in the past three presidential elections. Hillary Clinton, who formally accepted the Democratic nomination Thursday, is heavily favored among blacks over her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump.
Critics argue that such voter ID laws are designed to suppress voter turnout among minorities and poor people who are less likely to possess drivers’ licenses or other forms of state-issued identification. The Justice Department, NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union, and others had sued North Carolina over its law.