North Carolina voter ID trial begins

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Voters head to the polls in Pitt County for early voting in the runoff primary election and have to present a photo ID, something some are fighting to change.

“We vote every time an election comes up. I definitely think it’s a great idea. It’s our duty to vote,” Jeffrey Davidson, a Pitt County voter said.

Since 2018, when a Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted the voter photo ID law, all voters have to show photo ID to vote.

NC NAACP and local chapters challenged this law with the trial that started Monday morning in Winston-Salem.

This non-jury trial comes 5 years after NC NAACP filed a lawsuit arguing it has discriminatory intent that dilutes the voting power of Black and Brown voters.

NC NAACP president Deborah Maxwell said in a statement, “We cannot allow access to our constitutional right to vote to continue to be eroded away in a time when we are working to build an inclusive, multiracial, multigenerational democracy that works for all people.”

Voters in the east that WITN talked with say the photo voter ID law is important.

“It helps prevent voter fraud,” Stephen Elliott, a Pitt County voter shared.

According to the Pitt County Board of Elections, getting a voter ID is a free and easy process.

“It’s typically a 5-minute process. They can come in get their photo ID, leave, and have it in your hand,” Rachel Vidal, the Pitt County Board of Election Deputy Director explained.

According to the Associated Press, the attorneys for NAACP presented data that Black and Latino voters are twice more likely to lack a qualifying ID than White voters.