House Bill 589 (the Voter Information Verification Act), passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McCrory, institutes photo voter identification by all those wishing to cast a ballot in person. Here's some information about this requirement.
Appropriate forms of identification are:
- A North Carolina drivers license, including a learner's permit or a provisional license.
- A special identification card for nonoperators issued by the DMV
- A United States passport
- A United States military identification card
- A Veterans Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe or a tribe recognized by this State
- A drivers license or nonoperators identification card issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory or commonwealth of the United States, but only if the voter's voter registration was within 90 days of the election
Note: The ID must not be expired, except for a voter over age 70 whose ID was current on their 70th birthday. The military and veterans IDs do not need an expiration date, but other IDs do.
There are certain religious exceptions for ID requirement
The law states: "At any time after the voter has registered to vote that the voter has determined the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may execute a declaration before an election official to be incorporated as part of the official record of that voter's voter registration." Instead of a photo, these voters may show a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document with name and current address.
No ID requirement for curbside voting (new)
Voters voting curbside do not have to produce an ID to vote.
The "reasonable impediment" exception to ID requirement
Voters who are unable to obtain an acceptable photo ID due to a reasonable impediment may still vote a provisional ballot at the polls. (Examples of a reasonable impediment include but are not limited to the lack of proper documents, family obligations, transportation problems, work schedule, illness or disability, among other reasonable impediments faced by the voter.)
Voters must also:
- Sign a declaration describing their impediment; and
- Provide their date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number, or present their current voter registration card or a copy of an acceptable document bearing their name and address. (Acceptable documents include a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government-issued document.)
The provisional ballot will be counted when the information on the declaration is verified and all other eligibility requirements are met.
Provisional ballots if you do not have an ID
If you fail to have a photo ID present on election day, you may cast a provisional ballot. That ballot will not be counted until photo ID or a religious exception is filed before that ballot will be counted by the County Board of Elections. Voters can cast a provisional ballot, but it will only count if they bring an acceptable ID to the county board of elections by noon of the day before the election canvass. Alternatively, a voter may leave the voting site to retrieve their photo ID and return before the polls close to cast a regular ballot.
Getting an ID if you cannot afford one
The legislation provides for a free identification through the DMV under the following provision: "a registered voter shall sign a declaration stating the registered voter is registered and does not have other photo identification" and that the DMV "shall verify that voter registration prior to issuing the special identification card."
Voter ID impact on absentee voting
You do not need an ID to vote absentee
Voter ID effective date
This requirement will go into effect January 2016 and local Boards of Elections will begin notification of this requirement beginning with the 2014 party primaries. However, we encourage you to obtain photo identification prior to 2016 and to begin showing this identification the next time you cast your ballot.