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RALEIGH – Ahead of tomorrow’s election, the ACLU of North Carolina is calling on officials across the state to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast a ballot without facing illegal or unnecessary barriers.

“We call on all officials to respect the law and protect the right to vote for all eligible voters, and we condemn any efforts to suppress the vote,” said Karen Anderson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. “We stand ready with many partners across the state to protect North Carolinians’ right to vote on Election Day and fight any barriers to the ballot.”

Voters who have questions or any issues with casting their ballot are encouraged to contact the ACLU of North Carolina or call 1-888-OUR-VOTE.

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CHARLOTTE – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina joins those calling on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) to publicly release all body and dash camera footage, as well as audio dispatch recordings, of the events surrounding the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old man with a traumatic brain injury, who, according to the Guardian’s database The Counted, was the 194th Black person killed by U.S. police this year. 

On Saturday, the department released portions of body and dash camera footage showing the moments immediately before and after police shot and killed Mr. Scott. But the department has not released all the video footage of the moments leading up to and following the encounter, leaving many questions still unanswered.

Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the ACLU of North Carolina, released the following statement:

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CHARLOTTE – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina today called on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to release any body or dash cam footage that captured yesterday’s police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott, the 194th Black person killed by U.S. police this year. Police say Mr. Scott was shot and killed while officers were trying to execute an arrest warrant for a different person.

A new North Carolina law, HB 972, will prevent law enforcement agencies from releasing body camera footage in the public interest without a court order, but the law does not take effect until October 1. All Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers are supposed to be equipped with body cameras while on patrol and the cameras should be in use any time an arrest is made, according to department policy.  

Karen Anderson, Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, released the following statement:

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RALEIGH – Voting rights advocates are urging county boards of election and ultimately the North Carolina State Board of Elections to maintain or expand early voting opportunities when compared to 2012 as they develop their early voting plans for the November 2016 election. On Monday at 1 p.m., the Guilford County Board of Elections will consider a proposal that would eliminate early voting on Sundays and reduce early voting sites from 22 to 12, which would include the closure of several voting sites used predominantly by Black and young voters.

Less than two weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled that North Carolina’s restrictive 2013 voting law, which had eliminated a week of early voting and other methods used disproportionately by African American voters, violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act because it intentionally discriminated against voters of color.

In a letter sent Friday, attorneys for groups who successfully challenged North Carolina’s voting restrictions in court said the Guilford County proposal appears to represent "intentional action” to suppress votes this November.

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