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NC Senate approves GOP-backed election changes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Republican-dominated North Carolina Senate has given preliminary approval to sweeping election law changes, including requiring voters to present photo ID and shortening early voting by a week.

The bill approved Wednesday in a party-line vote also ends same-day voter registration and eliminates a high-school civics program that encourages students to register.

North Carolina’s presidential primary would be moved earlier to closely follow South Carolina’s vote. The bill also weakens disclosure requirements for those underwriting campaign ads and increases the ability of political parties to rake in corporate donations.

Republicans claim the bill will prevent voter fraud and restore faith in elections. Non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and Libertarians say the true goal is suppressing voter turnout.

The bill faces another Senate vote Thursday before heading to the GOP-controlled House.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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