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Here's what you need to know about voter ID in North Carolina

DTH Photo Illustration. Many assume that they must have a photo ID to vote, but this is not the case.

On Election Day, voters must be registered in order to cast their ballot.

The deadline to register to vote online or by mail was Oct. 14, but voters could register in person during early voting, which ended on Nov. 5.

To register using same-day registration, voters must have resided in the county they intend to vote in for at least 30 days before Election Day, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. 

Voters must also be a U.S. citizen and at least 18-years-old by the general election date and must not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction.

To register to vote during the early voting period, a voter must provide proof of residence, like any type of government-issued photo identification, a current utility bill, a paycheck, a student ID card or any kind of government-issued document that shows a voter's name and address.

Attempts to require voter ID at the polls

In June 2018, the Republican supermajority in the N.C. General Assembly placed six constitutional amendments on the ballot,. Two passed a state-wide referendum, including a requirement for photo identification to vote.

The voter ID amendment was struck down soon after the referendum in a case called N.C. NAACP v. McCrory. The court said the provisions "target African Americans with almost surgical precision." After the case, the requirement was eliminated.

Jamie Cox, the chairperson of the Orange County Board of Elections, said no photo ID is required to cast a ballot in North Carolina. 

He said there is a system of checks and balances in place to prevent voter fraud without requiring photo ID checks.

“If you’re a registered voter you need to state your name and address when you present to vote in person and that’s either at an early voting site or at your precinct,” Cox said.

Registered voters can cast their vote by an absentee mail ballot, Cox said. Nov. 1 was the deadline for voters to submit absentee ballot request forms to their county's board of elections. 

The civilian absentee ballot return deadline is on Election Day, meaning the ballot has to be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Cox said voter fraud in the form of voter impersonation, which voter ID laws are meant to prevent, is very rare.

"I've been serving in some capacity on the board of elections in Orange County since 2011, and we've never had a single case of voter presenting to be somebody else," he said.

Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils said voter turnout in Orange County could make a difference in statewide races.

“With respect to the judicial races, the outcome of those races is going to shape North Carolina law and politics for at least the next decade,” Seils said.

Susan Romaine, Carrboro Town Council mayor pro tempore, said it is crucial for young people to show up to vote for the issues that impact them.

“The bottom line is it's really our most important civic duty is to vote, and I hope there will be a huge turnout among UNC students,” Romaine said.

@DTHCityState |

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