Federal trial in North Carolina voting rights case under way

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – As a voting rights trial on a 2013 North Carolina law begins, early arguments and testimony are focusing on whether Republican state lawmakers illegally weakened minority voters’ ability to participate in the political process.

The trial stemming from three federal lawsuits opened Monday in Winston-Salem and could last two to three weeks.

The U.S. Justice Department, state NAACP and others sued over provisions that scaled back early voting and prevented the counting of Election Day ballots cast in an incorrect precinct.

Gwendolyn Farrington of Durham testified her vote didn’t count last November when she went to the precinct site closest to her job. She says she should have the same right as others to vote.

State attorneys say there was no intentional discrimination, and many states have similar voting restrictions.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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