Voter ID goes to court

vote countsThe N.C. General Assembly amended the voter ID requirement set to go into effect in 2016 in  2015. For all but those few exceptions outlined in the law below, one of the following acceptable identification cards must be presented before being allowed to vote.

ACCEPTABLE PHOTO ID IN 2016
• NC Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit, or Provisional License
• Special Identification card (NC DMV ID Card)
• US Passport
• US Military Identification card (Including Active, Retired, Dependents, and Civilian)
• US Veterans Identification card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs
• Tribal Enrollment card issued by a federally-recognized tribe
• Tribal enrollment card issued by a NC-recognized tribe, signed by an elected tribal official, and compliant with G.S. § 163-166.13
• Out-of-state-driver’s license or non-operator’s identification card (BUT only if the voter registers to vote in the county within 90 days of the election)

SESSION LAW 2015-103 HOUSE BILL 836 *H836-v-3*

 AN ACT TO PROVIDE REGULATORY RELIEF FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BY AUTHORIZING CITIES TO RESERVE CERTAIN EASEMENTS WHEN PERMANENTLY CLOSING STREETS AND ALLEYS; TO REPEAL THE REQUIREMENT FOR LICENSING OF GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALES BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS; TO AUTHORIZE ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF ABSENTEE BALLOT LISTS BY COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS; TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR PAPER BALLOTS; TO EXTEND THE TIME FRAME TO IMPLEMENT THE REQUIREMENT FOR PAPER BALLOTS FROM JANUARY 1, 2018 TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2019, FOR COUNTIES THAT USE DIRECT RECORD ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES FOR CURRENT VOTING REQUIREMENTS; TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES TO CONDUCT MALT BEVERAGE AND UNFORTIFIED WINE ELECTIONS; TO REQUIRE COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS TO NOTIFY A REGISTERED VOTER OF THE OPTION TO COMPLETE A WRITTEN REQUEST FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT AT A ONE-STOP VOTING LOCATION WHEN THE VOTER PRESENTS WITHOUT AN ELIGIBLE FORM OF PHOTO IDENTIFICATION; TO AUTHORIZE VOTERS WHO SUFFER FROM A REASONABLE IMPEDIMENT PREVENTING THE VOTER FROM OBTAINING PHOTO IDENTIFICATION TO COMPLETE REASONABLE IMPEDIMENT DECLARATIONS WHEN VOTING; TO REMOVE TERM LIMITS FOR SERVICE ON THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF ALEXANDER COUNTY; AND TO REQUIRE ELECTRONIC POLL BOOKS TO BE CERTIFIED BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.

On Monday morning, a Wake County judge held a hearing on whether to dismiss a challenge in state court to the 2013 change in election law that requires voters to show one of seven state-approved forms of photo identification before casting a ballot.

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The proceedings scheduled in front of Wake County Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan are part of a lawsuit filed in 2013 by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute and five women voters. They argue that lawmakers overstepped the bounds of the state constitution when they added the ID requirement.

A Wake County judge will have to decide whether changes enacted this summer to soften North Carolina’s voter ID requirement should end a lawsuit that claims the state’s voting law violates the state constitution.

Special deputy attorney general Alec Peters argued that the statute the plaintiffs are challenging is no longer the one on the books. Peters cited the loopholes created in the amended law.

Plaintiffs lawyers said the June 2015 adjustments don’t address their concerns. Anita Earls, a lawyer and executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the voter ID requirement would still prove an impediment to voting.

Judge Morgan said that it would likely take him weeks before ruling in the case.