Voter Identification Lawvoter

A new law in North Carolina will require voters to present a photo identification card at the polls if they want to vote in this year's presidential election. However, the law has been challenged in court, and the trial began on Monday. Those opposed to the legislation say that it will make it more difficult for racial minority voters to cast their ballots.

A lawyer arguing on behalf of North Carolina, Attorney Thomas Farr, says that the law will only affect a small percentage of voters, and that the majority of voters already have the necessary identification. Furthermore, the lawyer said that an amended version of the law will allow for exceptions. Farr said, "It's a policy question. The evidence here does not rise anywhere close to showing a discriminatory intent."

Proponents Say the Law Will Not Affect Many Voters

Proponents of the voter ID requirement, mostly Republicans, say that it will help to eliminate cases of voter fraud. Meanwhile, Democrats claim that the law will target voters who typically vote for Democratic candidates.

This case is significant because it is the first to challenge the right of states to change their voting laws -- particularly states like North Carolina, which have a history of discriminatory voting laws. The U.S. Supreme Court gave historically discriminatory states more leeway to adjust their voting laws in 2013.

U.S. Department of Justice and NAACP Disagree with the Law

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the U.S. Justice Department claim that North Carolina's new law is overly burdensome on the state's Hispanic and African-American populations because these demographics are less likely to have adequate documentation.

Attorney Michael Glick, who represents the NAACP, said that the legislation "threatens to deter, confuse and disenfranchise voters" and "it sets out to solve a problem that never existed."

Whether the judge presiding over this civil rights issue will decide on the case before North Carolina's primaries this March remains to be seen.