Appeals court denies more early voting time in N Carolina

FILE - Mamie Lee holds a sticker she received after voting at Forest Park Academy in Roanoke, Va., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Erica Yoon/The Roanoke Times via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A group of North Carolina voters that wants to expand early in-person voting in the presidential battleground state has lost its case before a federal appeals court.

A three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied the emergency motion focused on five counties that include the cities of Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Wilmington. A trial court judge refused the same request last week.

The voters’ lawyers argued the counties weren’t complying with the 4th Circuit’s ruling in July striking down portions of a 2013 law that reduced the early-voting period by seven days. It now covers 17 days.

A state judge already extended a voter-registration deadline until Wednesday in the counties hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.