CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest late Monday night supporting the North Carolina NAACP's federal lawsuit, alleging that thousands of voters are being illegally removed from the polls.

"The purge program at issue here rested on a mass mailing and the silence of voters largely unaware of the potential injury to their voting rights," the U.S. Department of Justice's statement said.

The NAACP's suit charges that the State Board of Elections and several North Carolina counties are illegally suppressing the right to vote of thousands of black residents.

Voters in Beaufort, Moore and Cumberland Counties complained that they had their registrations canceled because mailings sent by private individuals to their homes came back as undeliverable. The individuals claimed that since the mailings came back, that meant the voter had moved. They reported the information to county election officials.

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