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GOP-backed election changes head to Gov. McCrory

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

(AP) - A Republican-backed measure making sweeping changes to how and when North Carolinians can vote is headed to the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory.

The bill approved late Thursday by the GOP-dominated state legislature requires voters to present photo ID and shortens early voting by a week.

The measure also ends same-day voter registration and eliminates a high school civics program that encourages students to register ahead of their 18th birthday. Disclosure requirements for campaign ads are weakened and political parties can rake in unlimited corporate donations.

Republicans claim the measures will prevent voter fraud and restore faith in elections. Nonpartisan voting rights groups, Democrats and Libertarians say the true goal is suppressing voter turnout.

The changes are expected to face court challenges in advance of the 2014 and 2016 elections.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

---PREVIOUS STORY----

(AP) - The Republican-backed measure making sweeping changes to how, when and where North Carolinians can vote is headed to the state House, where it is expected to pass.
    
The bill approved Thursday by the GOP-dominated Senate requires voters to present photo ID and shortens early voting by a week. The measure also ends same-day voter registration and eliminates a high school civics program that encourages students to register.
    
North Carolina's presidential primary would be held earlier to closely follow South Carolina's vote. The bill also weakens disclosure requirements for those underwriting campaign ads and allows political parties to rake in unlimited corporate donations.
    
Republicans claim the bill will prevent voter fraud and restore faith in elections. Non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and Libertarians say the true goal is suppressing voter turnout.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

--- Previous Story ---

State lawmakers are considering big changes to the way people in our state vote. The Senate approved the bill tonight.

Republicans said the bill would combat voter fraud while Democrats argued the bill would suppress the vote.

The bill moving through the legislature would create new voting restrictions throughout the state. And it's getting closer to being passed.

It advanced in a Senate committee on Tuesday.

The bill would cut the state's early voting period by a week and eliminate same-day voter registration. It also increases restrictions on provisional voting and eliminate straight-ticket voting.

The bill would require voters to show a government issued-photo ID at the polls.

According to the News and Observer, it would also allow counties to limit Sunday voting.

"Sunday voting? I don't see how it would hurt anything," said Daniel Lollis, Jacksonville resident. "It wouldn't hurt anything. I guess it's a standstill in my opinion."

The voting would repeal publicly funded elections for judicial races and increase the maximum campaign contribution to $5,000.

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