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As Voter ID Laws Expand, Fewer People Are Getting Driver's Licenses

License applications have been dropping since 1983. That bad for voters who live in states with ID laws.
relates to As Voter ID Laws Expand, Fewer People Are Getting Driver's Licenses
REUTERS/Chris Keane

A North Carolina law requiring people to have certain kinds of photo identification in order to vote is on trial this week, in a federal courthouse in Winston-Salem. The state passed a voting law in 2013 that even some conservatives have called one of the most restrictive in the nation in terms of the potential burdening effect it could have on women and people of color. The voter ID provision is one part of a broader set of measures included in that law that, among other things, shortens the early voting period and eliminates Election Day voter registration.

Those other measures were taken up in a separate federal trial last summer, with a decision currently pending. This week, the voter ID provision is on trial, with the North Carolina state chapter of the NAACP arguing that it will make it harder for African Americans and Latinos to vote, especially when combined with the law’s other restrictions. African-American registered voters are far less likely to have driver’s licenses than white voters.