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Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina judges ruled Friday that the state's latest photo identification voter law is racially biased and discriminates against Black voters, violating their equal protections.

Why it matters: This is the second time North Carolina has had a voter ID law overturned by the courts. In 2016, a federal appeals court blocked a similar 2013 law because it violated the Constitution and targeted Black voters with "almost surgical precision."

The big picture: Two of the trial judges on Friday declared the December 2018 law unconstitutional, finding the law intentionally discriminates against Black voters, violating their equal protections.

  • Lawyers for the voters who sued over the law said it suffered from the same racial defects as the 2013 law.
  • In a dissenting opinion, Judge Nathaniel Poovey wrote that the voter ID law falls in line with the state constitution and received support from several Black legislators and the citizens voting for the constitutional referendum, AP notes.

What they're saying: The law “was motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters,” Superior Court Judges Michael O’Foghludha and Vince Rozier wrote in the majority opinion.

  • “Other, less restrictive voter ID laws would have sufficed to achieve the legitimate nonracial purposes of implementing the constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, deterring fraud, or enhancing voter confidence,” they write.

Go deeper

Texas urges Supreme Court to leave abortion ban in place

Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to keep in place a law that bans abortions after an embryo's cardiac activity is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks and before many people know they are pregnant.

Driving the news: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is asking the high court to ignore the Justice Department's emergency request that they temporarily block the law while federal courts consider its constitutionality since it "lacks standing because it has not been injured by SB 8."

What to know before heading to the polls in Austin

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Early voting for the Nov. 2 election is here, and Austin voters will weigh in on two local propositions, in addition to eight Texas constitutional amendments.

State of play: So far, turnout has been low. Just 2.25% of Travis County voters headed to polls or voted by mail during the first three days of early voting, according to the Travis County clerk's office.

Yes, but: That's not unusual for an election in which no major political offices are on the ballot.

Nonpartisan Wisconsin audit finds 2020 election "largely safe and secure"

A poll worker feeds a voting tabulation machine with absentee ballots in the gym at Sun Prairie High School on Nov. 3, 2020, in Sun Prairie, Wisc. Photo: Andy Manis/Getty Images

A nonpartisan audit of the 2020 presidential race results in Wisconsin found no evidence of widespread voter fraud and determined the swing state's election had been "largely safe and secure."

Why it matters: The results further undermine former President Donald Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud throughout the country.