Appeals court to hear challenge to Virginia voter ID law

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to examine a challenge to Virginia’s law requiring voters to show valid photo ID at the polls.

The Democratic Party of Virginia says in its lawsuit that the 2013 law suppresses voting by blacks, Latinos and young people. Democrats claim Republicans passed the law in response to shifting demographics in the state that helped President Barack Obama win Virginia in back-to-back elections.

A federal judge upheld the law earlier this year. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will examine the case Thursday.

The 4th Circuit recently blocked a North Carolina law that required voters to produce a photo ID. That law also scrapped same-day registration and shortened early voting periods. Virginia officials say the two cases are substantially different.

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