WINSTON-SALEM — A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments over whether a trial on the legality of recent Republican-backed changes to North Carolina’s voting laws should be held before or after the November 2014 elections.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Winston-Salem.

Gov. Pat McCrory faces a battery of lawsuits filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the state chapter of the NAACP and other groups who want the case heard before the election in the hopes of dismantling changes that include cutting the early voting period by a week and increasing access for partisan poll watchers. Also at issue is a new requirement for voters to present government-issued photo ID starting in 2016.

Lawyers for McCrory and GOP legislators say it will take them at least a year to prepare.