The Justice Department is urging the Supreme Court to leave in place a lower court ruling that struck down one of the nation's toughest voter ID laws.
A federal appeals court in July ruled North Carolina's voter ID law was overly restrictive for African-Americans, broadening the types of IDs allowed at the polls. It also increased the time period for early voting.
The state has asked the Supreme Court to enforce several parts of the law but the Justice Department warned it would "dramatically increase" the risk of mistakes and confusion.
"This is a case about the use of race to achieve partisan ends and the coming election should be conducted as the July ruling ordered so that it will be 'free from the taint of racial discrimination,'" the Justice Department said in a friend of the court brief Thursday, according to NBC News.
The state wants the Supreme Court to continue allowing it to enforce its voter ID laws, to limit early voting to 10 days instead of 17 and to bar pre-registration by 16-year-olds.