Charlotte affected by N.C. voting trial

The controversial voting access rules are stirring up conversation in Charlotte. Community leaders are hitting the streets to educate the public about what is going on and how they could be affected.

People in the Charlotte area are chiming in about the value of voting, both as a right and a privilege. Some people are comparing the restrictions to what happened in Selma with the voting rights movement. 

Gloria Rembart is a member of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte Mecklenburg. "To see that is disheartening, but it's not going to stop us from trying to change," Rembart said.

She says the North Carolina voting rights puts restrictions on minorities that could discourage them from voting - by reducing the number of days of early voting and eliminating same-day registration during the early-voted period.

FOX 46 spoke to Charlotte's Mayor Pro Tempore who says the provisions are a set back for Charlotte and other cities with large minority populations. "When you think about how hard people have fought, the number of people who died for us to vote freely, it concerns me that you have people who are trying to turn back that clock," Michael Barnes said.

The black political caucus of Charlotte Mecklenburg says the restrictions have not slowed down voters. Research shows the black voter turnout is slowly growing every election in North Carolina, something that Rembart says she's proud of.

"I believe for a moment this law has discouraged people but it has not discouraged us because we will continue to educate people," Rembart said.

Register voters in Charlotte tell us the restrictions will not be a setback if people are educated on what they need to do to cast their vote. 

Attorneys for the state and governor Pat McCrory defend the law by pointing out that black voter participation increased during the 2014 elections under the new rules.