Beginning in 2020, North Carolina voters will be required to provide photo identification when voting in-person or absentee-by-mail, with some exceptions. This requirement is not in place for any election in 2019. (Session Law 2019-4, signed by governor on March 14, 2019.)
In the 2018 general election, 55 percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring photo ID to vote in North Carolina. Subsequently, the N.C. General Assembly approved Session Law 2018-144, which implements the constitutional requirement for voter photo ID.
This hub will be updated regularly with additional voter ID information, events, and resources.
On February 22, 2019, a state court judge threw out two amendments to the North Carolina Constitution that voters approved in November, including the strict photo ID requirement to vote.
In the 13-page opinion, Superior Ct Judge G. Bryan Collins, Jr. wrote, “An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution.” The original lawsuit, filed in August 2018 by Forward Justice for plaintiffs the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and Clean Air NC, asserted that the legislature was “unconstitutionally constituted” due to gerrymanders and therefore the two amendments were “void.” Two other amendments approved in November 2018 were not part of the lawsuit, so were not affected by the ruling. The ruling has been put on hold pending an appeal.
Other lawsuits are also challenging the Voter ID law that provided the enabling language for that amendment. One lawsuit, filed by Southern Coalition for Social Justice, is in Wake County Superior Court, which decided on March 12 to hand the case over to a three-judge panel for consideration. Another lawsuit over the voter ID law was filed by the NC NAACP and is pending in federal court.
The ID law as passed would “require” voters to show an acceptable photo ID — but also has exceptions so people can vote in person without one. The law is complex; it will be hard to administer and will be a barrier to some voters.
Excerpted from “NC’s NEW Photo ID Requirements to Vote: What the Law Says, How to Help,” also available at demnc.co/idfacts.
The law says voters should show one of these photo IDs when they vote in person; the ID can be expired for up to one year:
There are a number of things we still do not know, and that you can urge the State Board of Elections to address through rule-making and action, including: