The law, which requires voters to show photo identification when casting a ballot and was passed by the N.C. General Assembly in 2013, began trial on Jan. 25 in Winston-Salem. It is being challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice and the N.C. NAACP, which argue it disenfranchises minority voters.
Jeff Nieman, an assistant district attorney who testified in the trial Wednesday on behalf of the DOJ, said driver’s licenses — the most common forms of ID — are hard to obtain and are revoked disproportionately for African-Americans.
He said most licenses are revoked for financial reasons rather than driving violations, such as an inability to pay outstanding tickets or cover the cost of car inspections. Nieman said although Orange County is only about 12.5 percent African-American, 50 percent of revoked licenses are from African-Americans.
Adam Stein, a civil rights attorney representing the N.C. NAACP, said the requirement burdens voters without any justification — about twice as much for African-Americans than for whites.