For the past two weeks, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder has presided over a crowded federal courtroom as lawyers challenging key provisions of the state’s election law presented witness after witness. This week, attorneys for the state began presenting their witnesses to counter claims by the NAACP, League of Women Voters and others that a 2013 North Carolina voting law overhaul was a not-so-subtle attempt to limit the participation of black, Hispanic and young voters in the electoral process. … On Monday, Trey Hood, a University of Georgia professor of political science, testified he could find no evidence that limiting the number of early-voting days had discouraged a significant number of people from voting.
Hood compared turnout rates between the midterm elections in 2010 and 2014, according to a report in The Winston-Salem Journal, and found the overall turnout to be higher in 2014. The turnout rate among black voters was higher, too.
Hood acknowledged that black voters cast ballots during the shortened period of early voting at rates higher than whites, but he added that he could find no evidence in the data he analyzed to show the changes “hindered the people to vote early.”
That runs counter to numerous voters who testified either in person or by video during the previous two weeks of the nationally watched trial.
Full Article: State begins case in NC elections trial | News & Observer.