NC Republicans are hoping you can’t vote – here’s how to make sure you have the proper ID come Election Day

NC Republicans are hoping you can’t vote – here’s how to make sure you have the proper ID come Election Day

In the NCGOP’s latest attempt to make voting as difficult as possible, North Carolinians will now be required to show a photo ID in order to vote – beginning with this fall’s municipal elections.

Your local DMV office is one of the most common places to obtain a photo ID (a state ID or a driver’s license). Unfortunately, according to Carolina Demography, 17 North Carolina counties don’t even have DMV offices and around half of the state’s 116 DMV offices don’t even have available appointments for people who want licenses or state ID cards.

That means that people in 17 counties (who presumably don’t have a driver’s license) must find a way to another county’s DMV office – if they can find an appointment or have hours to wait as a walk-in – in order to get an ID card so that they can vote.

Thankfully, the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) is trying to help make it easier for those who don’t have an acceptable form of identification to get one. Registered voters who don’t have an acceptable voter ID can head to their county board of elections office to get a free ID. That doesn’t help those without transportation, but it does give people another option for where they can go to get an ID card.

The following is a list provided by the NCSBE showing all the acceptable photo IDs for voting.

Any of the following that is unexpired, or expired for one year or less will be accepted at your polling location:

  • North Carolina driver’s license
  • State ID from the NCDMV (also called “non-operator ID”)
  • Driver’s license or non-driver ID from another state, District of Columbia or U.S. territory (only if voter registered in North Carolina within 90 days of the election)
  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card
  • North Carolina voter photo ID card issued by a county board of elections
  • College or university student ID approved by the State Board of Elections
  • State or local government or charter school employee ID approved by the State Board of Elections

Note: A voter 65 or older may use an expired form of acceptable ID if it was unexpired on their 65th birthday.

Any of the following, regardless of whether the ID contains an expiration or issuance date:

  • Military or veterans ID card issued by the U.S. government
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by a tribe recognized by the State or federal government
  • ID card issued by an agency of the U.S. government or the State of North Carolina for a public assistance program

“Any voter who does not have an acceptable ID card for voting can now get a free ID from their county board of elections,” said NCSBE executive director Karen Brinson Bell. “State Board staff has worked diligently with the county boards of elections over the past couple of months to get the necessary software and hardware in place for ID printing.”

According to the NCSBE, the free voter IDs will have the voter’s photo, name, and registration number. The IDs will expire 10 years from the date of issuance, and most voters will be able to get their ID printed and handed to them on the spot at their county board of elections.

County boards of elections can issue cards at any time during regular business hours, as long as a voter goes before the last day of early voting.

“This new process should not discourage or prevent any eligible individual from voting and having their ballot counted,” Brinson Bell said. “The State Board and county boards of elections are here to assist any voter who needs an ID or has questions about this law.” 

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Patrick Zarcone

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