For the upcoming municipal elections this fall, North Carolina voters will have to present photo identification to cast their vote. This noteworthy change comes as a consequence of a recent ruling where N.C.’s Supreme Court upheld House Bill 1092 in May. Significantly, in January, the court had annulled the law on charges of racial discrimination. The legislative process for the bill was initiated back in 2018, leading to a significant revision in the state’s constitution mandating photo identification for voting. For a majority of voters, this change will necessitate the presentation of a driver’s license before voting. However, alternative forms of ID such as passports, military IDs, tribal IDs or even student and employer IDs from an approved list of colleges, charter schools, and state and local governments, will also be accepted. The state is expected to provide this approved list later this month. According to the State Board of Elections’ website, voters aged 65 and above can use an expired form of ID, provided it expired after their 65th birthday. For some, this new requirement might necessitate a visit to the DMV to obtain a non-operator ID. The good news is that these are free forms of identification that will be deemed acceptable for voting. However, securing one might require some planning due to potentially long wait times at DMV locations. Walk-ins are accommodated from noon at most DMV offices, but without an appointment, you could be waiting for hours if you don’t arrive early. The new law also impacts mailed in absentee ballots, which now require the inclusion of a photocopy of the voter’s identification. So make sure you are prepared well in advance, as this new regulation is set to come into effect from this fall’s municipal elections.
July 18, 2022
September 8, 2020