With N Carolina voter ID mandate soon to begin, trial begins

GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Attorneys for state officials and those who sued to overturn North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law are going to trial Monday in Winston-Salem.

A week or so of testimony that is expected before a federal judge will determine whether the photo ID mandate violates the U.S. Constitution or federal Voting Rights Act. The same judge refused before the trial to stop the mandate, which will be enforced the first time in the March 15 primary.

Under the law, registered voters who want to vote in person must show a qualifying ID — a requirement that the NAACP and U.S. Justice Department say are discriminatory toward minorities. Republicans say the requirement is common sense and will preserve the integrity of elections.