How to get your Voter ID

Aug. 17, 2013 @ 05:00 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory signed the voter reform bill, meaning that identification will be required to vote in North Carolina beginning in 2016. 

The law is already being challenged in courts by several groups, including the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 

Under the law, all qualified voters voting in person must present a photo identification. Voters without an ID would vote a provisional ballot. Acceptable forms of identification include a N.C. driver’s license, an N.C. special identification card, a US passport, a US military identification card, a veterans identification card containing a photo issued by the Department of Veteran Affairs, a tribal enrollment cart issued by a recognized tribe or a driver’s license or special identification card issued by another state if the registration was within 90 days of the election. 

For voters more than 70 years old, any of those cards that bear a date of expiration that was not expired on the day the voter reached 70 may be used. 

Implementation will begin Jan. 1, 2014. Fees for a Photo ID or birth certificate will be waived. Special ID cards can be obtained at the DMV. It requires the same documentation of identity and residence as a driver’s license. Certified copies of marriage and birth certificates can be obtained from the register of deeds or NC Vital Records. 

The state board of elections has not issued directions yet. However, they should be instructing local boards soon. 

Nathel Hailey, president of the Union County NAACP chapter, said they will be assisting people in receiving proper identification. 

At this time they do not know how many residents will need help in obtaining an ID. They will meet on the 26th and start planning. The chapter is also planning to march in Charlotte at the Moral Monday demonstration. 

“What a devastating act that would have upon North Carolina and out elderly, our sick, our people in places that cannot get IDs,” Hailey said. “(The bill’s passage) was devastating to us.”

Hailey said some people in the state were born at home and do not have birth certificates, thus cannot receive a government ID. 

The law is being challenged in court. North Carolina is the first state to enact voter reform after the Supreme Court’s voting rights act decision, which struck down a measure that certain states and counties had to obtain preclearance from the Department of Justice before changing any voting laws. Other states are also debating voter reform.