Kim Strach, the executive director of the State Board of Elections, took the stand Tuesday for a second time in a closely watched federal trial over North Carolina’s controversial election law. But this time she was on much friendlier ground. Unlike last week, she was called as a witness by attorneys representing the state and Gov. Pat McCrory. Several groups, including the N.C. NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice, are suing the state and McCrory over House Bill 589, legislation passed in 2013 that eliminated same-day voter registration, reduced the days of early voting from 17 to 10, prohibited out-of-precinct provisional voting and eliminated preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, among other provisions.
… Strach acknowledged last week that black voters use same-day voter registration and early voting at higher levels than whites and that she had found no evidence of significant voter fraud in same-day voter registration. She also said last week 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 election law had been in effect.
On Tuesday, Alexander Peters, one of the state’s attorneys, asked Strach about the importance of a process known as mail verification and how it relates to preventing voter fraud. State Republican legislators pointed to potential voter fraud as a reason for passing the new election law, though there is no evidence of widespread in-person voter fraud in North Carolina or nationally.