Volunteer voter protection worker, Brooklyn -based entertainment lawyer, and producer of "Capturing the Flag" Laverne Berry sits outside a polling location. The documentary premiered in Durham at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Nelson Walker III

"Capturing the Flag" documentary reveals suppression laws in NC threaten voting rights

The documentary “Capturing the Flag,” which featured Laverne Berry and Steven Miller alongside their friend, Claire Wright, as they worked for voter protection in Fayetteville during the 2016 election, debuted at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham on April 8.  

Voting laws

In August 2013, the N.C. General Assembly passed a comprehensive and controversial voting reform bill. The law changed the number of early voting days from 17 days to 10. The law also eliminated same-day registration.

In September 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina. It said some of the provisions in the law discriminated against minorities, violating the Voting Rights Act. 

A year later, the N.C. NAACP tried to get the courts to issue an injunction which would prevent the voting law from coming into effect until the case goes to trial in 2015. The judge denied the claim and the NAACP appealed the ruling.

In October 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled two provisions of the law cannot be enforced, reversing a lower court decision in made August 2014. The decision allowed for the continuation of same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. 

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