Judge halts North Carolina voter ID law

A judge has temporarily halted a North Carolina law requiring people to show a photo ID at the ballot box.

This means that voters will not be subject to the photo ID requirement when they go to cast ballots in the March 2020 presidential primaries, Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the state's chapter of the NAACP, said during a Friday press conference.

"This is a long-fought-for victory against voter suppression and for equal access to the ballot in this state,” he said.

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North Carolina's Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein will decide how the state responds to the decision by Judge Loretta Biggs, according to The News & Observer.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general told The Hill in an email that Stein's office will wait to see the actual ruling before determining next steps.

Jeff Hauser, a spokesman for the state's Republican Party, blasted the decision as an "example of judges legislating from the bench."

"This action, if it is allowed to stand, will invalidate the votes of millions of North Carolinians who voted overwhelmingly to implement voter ID and strengthen the integrity of N.C. elections," Hauser said in a statement Friday.

He also called on Stein to appeal the decision.

Proponents of voter ID laws say they protect against voter fraud, while opponents say they suppress voting rights and particularly harm minorities.

A previous North Carolina voter ID law from 2013 was struck down in court after a judge found that the state's restrictions targeted black voters "with almost surgical precision."

Updated at 5:18 p.m.