Voter ID Requirements in North Carolina
On July 29, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down photo ID requirements and associated laws in North Carolina (S.L. 2013-381, as amended by S.L. 2015-103). The state is considering its options. Barring a different outcome on appeal, photo ID will not be required in the upcoming general election. Further details will be posted as they become available.
There are certain voters who are required to show some form of identification when they present to vote – either “in person” or when voting “by mail.” First-time voters who at the time of their initial voter registration did not provide their North Carolina driver license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, or who provided a number that could not be validated, will be required to show identification when they vote. This identification does not have to be a photo ID. The requirement for first-time voters to show identification is a requirement of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, a federal law not unique to North Carolina. Acceptable forms of HAVA ID include:
- A current and valid photo identification; or
- A copy of one of the following documents that show the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
First-time voters who are required to show HAVA ID will have been notified of this requirement by their county board of elections. If these voters do not bring an acceptable form of identification when they present to vote, they will be given a provisional ballot. The voter must then submit a copy of one of the acceptable forms of HAVA ID noted above to their county board of elections before the date set for the county canvass of the election in which they voted provisionally. The instructions provided to the provisional voter will explain the exact date and time by which the HAVA ID must be submitted. If the voter fails to provide the county board of elections with acceptable HAVA ID, the voter’s provisional ballot will not be counted.