In a 485-page opinion, Thomas D. Schroeder of the Federal District Court in Winston-Salem wrote that the law served a "legitimate state interest" in its effort to "detect and deter fraud."
The New York Times reports:
"North Carolina's voter identification law requires people to display one of six credentials, such as a driver's license or passport, before casting a ballot. Those who cannot may complete a "reasonable impediment declaration" and cast a provisional ballot.The Raleigh News & Observer reports civil rights organizations condemned the ruling:
"Although critics of the law said that the voter identification standard was a cloaked effort to disenfranchise black and Hispanic voters, Judge Schroeder, who presided over a highly technical trial that began in January, dismissed such arguments.
"'Plaintiffs' contention that North Carolina's requirement is one of the strictest in the country ignores the reasonable impediment exception,' Judge Schroeder, an appointee of President George W. Bush, wrote. 'If North Carolina is an outlier, it is because it is one of only two states in the nation to accommodate voters who wish to vote in person but for whatever reason face an impediment to acquiring qualifying ID.'"
'The sweeping barriers imposed by this law undermine voter participation and have an overwhelmingly discriminatory impact on African-Americans,' Dale Ho, director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. 'This ruling does not change that reality. We are already examining an appeal.'