Federal Court Orders North Carolina to Protect Rights of Voters who Registered at DMVs in November Election

Federal Court Orders North Carolina to Protect Rights of Voters who Registered at DMVs in November Election

October 27, 2016
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On December 15, 2015, Plaintiffs, Action NC, Democracy North Carolina, and North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute (“Organizational Plaintiffs”), and Plaintiffs Sherry Denise Holverson, Isabel Najera, and Alexandria Marie Lane (“Individual Plaintiffs”) commenced this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging violations of Sections 5 and 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, (“NVRA” or the “Act”). Named as Defendants are Kim Westbrook Strach, in her official capacity as Executive Director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (“SBE”), Rick Brajer, in his official capacity as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”), Kelly Thomas, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the North Carolina Division of Motor Case Vehicles (“DMV”), and Nick Tennyson, in his official capacity as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (“DOT”) (collectively, “Defendants”).

Defendant Strach filed her Answer and a Motion to Dismiss, and the remaining Defendants (“Agency Defendants”) filed their Answer and a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF Nos. 27, 28, 30, 31.) Before the Court are Defendant Strach’s Motion to Dismiss, Agency Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, (ECF Nos. 28, 31), and Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, (ECF No. 34). The United States filed a Statement of Interest on behalf of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), which the Court has considered.1 (See ECF No. 84.) For the reasons that follow, Defendants’ Motions are denied and Plaintiffs’ Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

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