North Carolina’s election director Kim Strach testified Wednesday that more than 96,000 people who used same-day voter registration in 2012 might not have been able to cast a ballot if the state’s controversial election law had been in effect. She also acknowledged that she could find no evidence of significant fraud in same-day voter registration. House Bill 589, which was signed into law August 2013, eliminated same-day voter registration, reduced the days of early voting from 17 to 10, prohibited out-of-precinct provisional voting and got rid of preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds. (Same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct voting will be allowed in the municipal elections in September because of a federal appeals court ruling).
Several groups, including the N.C. NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice, are suing North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory over the 2013 law. They allege that the law is intended to disenfranchise black and Hispanic people, poor people and young people.
Strach has been state elections director since May 2013 and is married to Phil Strach, one of the attorneys representing North Carolina and McCrory. Kim Strach, who was treated by plaintiffs’ attorneys as somewhat of a hostile witness, testified that 96,529 people who used same-day voter registration in the 2012 election likely would not have been able to vote if the state’s election law had been in place.
Daniel Donovan, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, also pressed Strach on the point that there’s no evidence of significant voter fraud in same-day voter registration. He asked Strach to look at numbers of people who failed the verification process in same-day voter registration and those who failed it through the traditional registration that ends 25 days before election.