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Voter ID ruling creates opportunity for North Carolina voters

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jamarcus Hackney is eligible to vote, but doesn’t have a driver’s license.

“Just never ended up getting around to it,” Hackney said.

After a US appeals court decision Friday, people like Jamarcus will be able to do their part in this presidential election.

The ruling overturns a North Carolina state law passed in 2013. A panel of judges say there was “discriminatory intent” within this law that disenfranchised certain voters. The law shortened the window from early voting from 17 days to 10. It also banned same day voter registration and required voters to bring a valid photo identification to the polls.

The decision brings what’s called a “permanent injunction” to that portion of the law, repealing those changes.

“It gives a chance for everybody to get out and vote this year,” said Greensboro native Carlyle Leak, excited about the news.

Republican Party insiders have spoken out against the ruling.

“What they’ve done is guaranteed that the citizens of North Carolina have to face potential voter fraud,” said NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse in a press conference Friday. Woodhouse also pointed out Indiana and Georgia have similar laws to prevent voter ID fraud.

But members of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP were pleased with the ruling.

“We know that this decision is a step closer to a freer, fairer electoral system in our state and in the nation,” said President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP Rev. Dr. William J. Barber.

GOP members of the legislature and Governor McCrory are looking into an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“Even if they took it, they would take it this fall, and then likely issue a decision at the earliest late this fall or next spring,” said Elon Law Professor Steve Friedland.

Friedland says it’ll be too late to undo this decision for the election, but for people including Jamarcus, who aren’t even sure if they will vote this election, now they have the option.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections is doing its part to inform voters. The new timetable for early voting in the state will be October 20th to November 5th.