For the past week, attorneys arguing for and against North Carolina’s new voter ID law at the federal trial in Winston-Salem have raised and knocked down the specter of voter fraud. The rule – that North Carolina voters show one of six photo identification cards before casting a ballot – was adopted in 2013. Republicans who had won control that year of both General Assembly chambers and the governor’s office touted the elections law overhaul as a way to preserve the integrity of one person, one vote.
Critics quickly countered that the 2013 ID provision – then one of the strictest in the country – was meant to disenfranchise voters of color who often cast ballots for Democrats.
Many numbers have been cited by experts during the federal trial to support claims of expected disenfranchisement and counter claims that only a small percentage of registered black voters don’t have an acceptable ID. More numbers are likely to be highlighted Monday, when closing arguments are set for a trial that has garnered national interest.