Judge: NC counties must restore voters removed from rolls

People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Hillary Clinton may not be accumulating the type of early-vote advantage her campaign wanted, but she continues to maintain an apparent edge over Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
People vote during early voting for the 2016 General Election at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Hillary Clinton may not be accumulating the type of early-vote advantage her campaign wanted, but she continues to maintain an apparent edge over Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge has ordered local elections boards in North Carolina to restore voters to the rolls after they were purged too close to Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs issued the ruling Friday after an emergency hearing earlier in the week on NAACP allegations that at least three counties purged voter rolls through a process disproportionately targeting blacks.

Early voting is already underway in the critical swing state, which the NAACP has previously sued over other voter access issues.

The voters’ names were removed through challenges filed by activists, which the NAACP said was illegal under federal law less than 90 days before an election.

The NAACP sued earlier this week over thousands of challenges filed in Cumberland, Moore and Beaufort counties.

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