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@NCCapitol

Age of voter ID dawns in NC

Posted March 2
Updated March 3

— After years of debate and lawsuits, showing photo identification at the polls is now a fact of life for North Carolina voters.

Early voting for the March 15 primary started Thursday across the state, and every voter is being asked for a photo ID, even if they've voted at the same precinct for years and the poll workers know them.

"The check-in official is going to be responsible for looking for reasonable resemblance, and the only thing they're looking at is the photo on the ID – does the photo reasonably resemble the person?" said Kim Strach, director of the State Board of Elections.

Acceptable IDs:

  • North Carolina driver's license or learner's permit, either current or expired within four years
  • Veteran's ID card or U.S. military ID
  • Unexpired U.S. passport
  • Tribal ID card
  • State-issued ID
  • Out-of-state driver's license (only for someone who registered within 90 days of the election)

Voting Info on early voting, primary candidates If a voter forgets to bring an ID, he or she can cast a provisional ballot. For the vote to count, however, the person will need to show his or her ID at the county elections office afterward.

Last year, state lawmakers added an exemption to the law called "reasonable impediment." If someone cannot get an acceptable photo ID, he or she can sign a declaration explaining why, such as lack of proper documents, family obligations, transportation problems, work schedule, illness or disability.

Strach said people who declare a reasonable impediment will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot, and the vote will be counted as long as the excuse is factually true.

"If someone does put on the reasonable impediment that, 'I'm not doing this because I just don't like the law,' those kind of statements would not be able to be used for it to count," she said. "But if someone's giving a reason why they haven't been able to obtain a photo ID, it will not be questioned."

Early voting runs until March 12, although Orange County, Cumberland County and others don't have any sites open on Sunday. Unlike on Election Day, when people must vote at their own precinct, people are allowed to vote at any site in their county during early voting.

Also, same-day voter registration is available for during the early voting period. State lawmakers eliminated so-called "one-stop voting" three years ago, but a federal judge has put that move on hold until challenges to changes to North Carolina election laws are resolved in court.

25 Comments

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  • Andy Jackson Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    There are many organizations in this state that will issue a picture ID for free. There is absolutely no excuse for not having one. My 90+ year old grandmother, who never got her driver's license, went to the post office for a photo ID, so not being able to get one is not a valid excuse.

  • Gran Queso Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    96 years in this great country in additional to the technological boom of recent decades and for some reason this particular person could never figure out what she needed to do in order to get a document that is not only important to have but could also help her vote? Give me a break.

  • Matt Nickeson Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

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    Nothing you posted contradicts my statement.

    "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged...." is always followed by "...due to " then insert my other statement about this regarding poll tax, race, gender, age. I know that actually reading the constitution and its amendments is hard but I have found that it is a good thing to do, especially when you want to use it as a reference.

    Good job on the research finding "one" person who couldn't vote. You did answer my question directly. However, I don't find those arguments overly compelling as each seems to be a highly unique, isolated, and rare occurrence. Also, since this voter ID law has no teeth these scenarios would actually never play out in NC as far as I can tell.

  • Raleigh Rose Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

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    Unfortunately that is not what many cases are about. There are numerous cases in TX alone with people not getting to vote & getting conflicting information from the DMV about what they need to get the proper ID. And as we've seen, there are also people who did not have a birth certificate issued at their birth. These things happen, especially in rural areas.

    Or, as I mentioned below, what about the Veteran in Ohio denied his right vote because he ONLY had a Veterans Affairs photo ID. He doesn't drive anymore & you would think a VA photo ID would be enough. But it wasn't .

    These are just a handful of examples. The ONLY reason Reps are doing this is to keep people who vote Dem from voting. That is the only reason. Voter fraud rarely occurs at the polls, and mostly happens by mail in ballot. Why hasn't that been addressed? Voter fraud is a SMALL problem, & voter fraud at the polls is almost non-existent.

  • Marty Baker Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    For all the anti id people, is it reasonable to assume that a person can get out of their house to go to their polling place, but it's too much of a burden to make it out one day during the past several months to go get an id? Does that really make sense to ANYONE?

  • Edward Anderson Mar 3, 2016
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    Excuse me, but how is it a case of "Personal Responsibility" when a Birth Certificate was never issued for someone? Are you implying that children should be responsible for making sure their birth was documented?

  • Raleigh Rose Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    There is also what this conservative judge had to say about voter ID laws:

    Voter ID laws have all been sponsored by Republicans and passed overwhelmingly by Republican legislatures. A conservative U.S. circuit judge, Richard Posner, in a recent scathing critique of these laws, calling the expressed concern about fraud a “a mere fig leaf” and that they instead “appear to be aimed at limiting voting by minorities, particularly blacks.”
    “There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud,” Posner wrote, “…and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.”

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/why-voter-id-laws-arent-really-about-fraud/

  • Raleigh Rose Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    Many people have not been able to vote due to these laws.

    An 86 year old war vet in OH, denied his vote because all he had was photo ID from the Veteran's Administration. This is what he had to say:

    “I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”

    93-year-old man, Houston: William Parsley, an election judge, said he was forced to turn away a 93-year-old veteran with an expired license, even though the man had “all sorts” of other ID.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/why-voter-id-laws-arent-really-about-fraud/

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/texas-sees-surge-disenfranchised-voters#54860

    http://www.cleveland.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/03/portage_county_veteran_86_turn.html

  • Geneva Smith Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    If there are a lot of older people that cant get a ID because of birth certificate issues, we as a state will figure it out.

  • Gran Queso Mar 3, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    This sounds like another case of a lack of personal accountability. NEXT !!

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