The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday to block two parts of North Carolina's strict new voting law.
The judges split 2-1 to set aside a provision eliminating same-day voter registration and one eliminating the counting of ballots cast on election day outside of a person's home precinct. The latter would have had a particular effect on voters attending college outside of their home counties, opponents said.
The law, passed last year, is considered to be one of the toughest in the nation. Civil rights groups and the Justice Department have challenged the law.
"The court's order safeguards the vote for tens of thousands of North Carolinians," said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, in a statement on Wednesday. "It means they will continue to be able to use same-day registration, just as they have during the last three federal elections."
The law's centerpiece, a requirement that all voters present identification, doesn't go into effect until 2016.