Expert: Only 2 cases of voter fraud in NC since 2000

Staff Writer

North Carolina had only two cases of verified voter fraud between 2000 and 2014 among the 35 million votes cast in all its elections, an expert testified Thursday in a lawsuit over the state's recent voter law changes.

Rutgers political science professor Lorraine Minnite testified that voter fraud is rare both nationally, and in North Carolina, The Winston-Salem Journal reported.

The North Carolina NAACP, the U.S. Justice Department and others have sued the state and Gov. Pat McCrory over the 2013 law, saying it's intended to reduce voting by blacks, Hispanics, the poor and young people.

The law eliminated same-day voter registration and out-of-precinct provisional voting. It also reduced the number of days for early voting.

Minnite also testified that she saw no evidence that same-day voter registration is more susceptible to fraud than when people register 25 days before an election. Those who use same-day registration have to appear in person and provide more documentation, making it more secure than traditional registration.

An attorney for the state asked if voter fraud is possible and if it could affect a close election.

"It's real in the sense that it could happen, but I don't think it's likely to happen," she said.

State Republican legislators said that they pushed for the changes to ensure the integrity of the voting process and to reduce the potential for voter fraud.

Republican leaders in other states have cited voter fraud as reasons for legislation requiring voters to have photo IDs when they cast their ballots.

The North Carolina law requires voters to have one of eight approved photo IDs in order to cast ballots starting next year. That provision is not being contested in this lawsuit.