WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is continuing the voting rights fight with a lawsuit against North Carolina.

The Justice Department plans to file suit against a new North Carolina law scaling back the period for early voting and imposing stringent voter identification requirements.

The administration has taken on the fight since a Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections.

At least five Southern states have adopted stricter voter ID and other election laws. Texas is also being sued.

Republican lawmakers in southern states insist the new measures are needed to prevent voter fraud, a crime that doesn't happen very often.

Democrats and civil rights groups argue the laws are intended to make voting more difficult for minorities and students.

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