WINSTON-SALEM -- Closing arguments concluded Friday in the federal trial over North Carolina's 2013 voting changes.

By the lunchtime break, three hours into closings, only two of the four presenting for the plaintiffs had completed their arguments.

Daniel Donovan for the NAACP underscored the case's importance, saying no other state "ripped away" provisions that have successfully helped minority voting in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that nullified Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, that put some states under preclearance for voting changes.

Donavan said African-Americans disproportionately use same day registration, early voting and out of precinct voting and that cumulative impact on access should be considered.

"There's no more basic right than voting, and the changes suppress that right,'' said Donovan.

Bert Russ, an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department, said the changes violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act and "denied and abridged the right to vote."

He said that the changes were adopted with discriminatory intent, saying partisan politics was a factor.

He thinks the legislature was aware of the fact that 95 percent of blacks vote Democratic.

Russ wants an injunction stopping the changes, and if Judge Thomas Schroeder finds discriminatory intent, he wants the state put under federal monitoring and preclearance for changes.

The closing arguments have been a low-key affair, with Donovan using a PowerPoint presentation during his two plus hours of arguments.

Judge Shroeder asked questions, discussing implications of various points and also quizzing lawyers about their thoughts about which matter should be weighed more heavily.

"Government should make it easier to participate in the fundamental right to vote,'' he said.

Lawsuits filed by the NAACP, League of Women Voters and the Justice Department say the changes brought by HB 589 unfairly increased the burden on minority voters, making it more difficult to vote.

The trial started nearly three weeks ago in U.S. Middle District Court in Winston-Salem. Judge Shroeder will issue a written opinion at a later date.