Nightly News   |  August 13, 2013

NC gets tough on voter ID laws, but at whose expense?

North Carolina’s strict voter ID law cuts back on early voting, ends same-day registration and requires voters to show a photo ID. So, what happens to people like Alberta Curry who don’t even have a birth certificate? NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> north carolina tonight is the newest battleground and a big fight over access to the voting booth . the governor has signed one of the nation's toughest laws that supporters say is intended to cut down on voter fraud . opponents say it's designed to make it harder for certain people to vote. we get our report tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams .

>> alberta curry has voted in every presidential election since 1956 .

>> that was something that i needed to do, for my children, my family, was to vote.

>> but she doesn't have a birth certificate and says it will be hard to comply with north carolina 's tough new voter i.d. law. passed a month after the supreme court struck down the heart of the voting rights act freeing the state from having to get federal permission from changing its voting laws. now the governor has signed it.

>> protecting the integrity of every vote cast is among the most important duties i have as governor.

>> the new law cuts early voting by a week and same day registration and stops a program to let 17-year-olds preregister to vote.

>> it is 57 pages of regressive, unconstitutional acts to rig and manipulate elections through voter suppression .

>> reporter: civil rights groups say the changes hit minorities hard, because 70% of african-americans voted early last november compared to 52% of whites. the lawsuits say minority voters use same day registration more often. reducing early voting will make the lines on election day even longer. hillary clinton last night said it's part of a trend nationwide to make voting hard er.

>> anyone who says in a racial discrimination is no longer a problem in american elections must not be paying attention.

>> the obama administration will be among the next to sue. urging the courts to again force north carolina to get federal approval before changing its voting laws. pete williams . nbc news at the justice department .