NC lawmakers approve GOP-backed election changes

RALEIGH, NC (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.

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