A Summary of North Carolina’s New Voter ID Law

Senator McKissick shares a summary and explanation of the new NC Voter ID Law which recently passed in the NC General Assembly

Today, the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 824 which implements the recently passed constitutional amendment that allows for voter IDs beginning next year. The voter ID bill that passed 2nd reading today is far broader and more expansive than the bill that was stricken down in Federal Court as being unconstitutional several years ago. The bill passed today would allow for County Boards of Elections across our state to issue Voter Identification Cards to anyone who can provide their name, date of birth, and the last 4 digits of their social security number. The bill, as originally proposed, would’ve allowed these new Voter Identification Cards to expire 8 years after issuance. Today, I was able to obtain bi-partisan support for an amendment to the bill that extended the expiration date of these ID cards to 10 years. In addition, the amendment will require local Boards of Elections to send a notice to those who have the cards advising them that their cards will expire 90 days in advance of an ID’s expiration date. In addition, the amendment would not require a voter to present an ID if they were in an area which had experienced a natural disaster within 100 days of an election. Initially, a 60-day window was proposed.

In addition to these new Voter Identification Cards, a person could present the following forms of ID:

  • A Valid NC Driver’s License
  • A Special Identification Card issued by the NC Division of Motor Vehicles
  • A Valid US Passport
  • A Valid Tribal Enrollment Card issued by a Federally Recognized Tribe
  • A Student Identification Card from a State University or Public Community College in NC
  • Student Identification Cards from Private Universities or Colleges would be accepted if they met certain standards as well
  • A Valid Driver’s License or Special Identification Card issued by another state, however, it would only be useful if the voter’s registration has occurred within 90 days of an election.
  • A Military Identification Card issued by the United States government
  • A Veterans Identification Card issued by the US Department of Veteran Affairs

All of the above forms of identification would need to be valid and unexpired, or, it must’ve been expired for one year or less, however, if a voter was 65 years old at the time he or she presented the ID, and the ID card was unexpired on the voter’s 65th birthday, then it would be acceptable.

In addition to the amendment which I ran, Senator Warren Daniel ran an amendment to correct another issue I was concerned about which involved circumstances and standards under which a voter without an ID could sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration Form which would allow them to vote without an ID. Senator Daniel agreed to use standards that provided greater specificity than those that appeared initially in the current bill.

While I oppose a voter ID requirement, It is now, however, the law of the State of NC and a part of our state’s constitution. Therefore, our challenge is to make sure that as many people who are lawfully registered to vote today will be able to continue to vote in the future, and that their access to photo ID’s or understanding exceptions where an ID would not be required is absolutely imperative. I will continue to work to protect the cherished constitutional right to vote so that we minimize those that are hindered by this new law.

A Special Thanks to All Those Who Work the Polls on Election Day

I always enjoy getting out to greet voters on Election Day, but more importantly, thanking the many people who work at precincts all across our state to help oversee our elections. I always thank those who are Democrat as well as Republican since they all start their day before 6:00 am, and they seldom leave until after 9:00 pm the day of an election. Our elections could not be held without the selfless dedication of these precinct officials. Thank you all for your service to our state and to our community. Unfortunately, I could not take their photographs inside of a voting precinct, therefore, this post only shows photos of some of those who I greeted at the polls.

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Durham Officials: Unanimous Opposition to the Proposed Constitutional Amendments

I have seldom felt as proud as I did earlier today when it was announced that every elected official in Durham County had come together to voice their unanimous opposition to the six proposed constitutional amendments that are on the ballot for voter consideration. This includes Mayor Schewel, the Durham City Council, all County Commissioners, all School Board members, as well as all Soil and Water District Commissioners. I and Rep. Marcia Morey joined many of these elected officials today when they held a press conference to voice their opposition to these constitutional amendments which are unneeded, unnecessary, and rather than increasing the rights of our citizens, for the most part, they will erode the rights of many of us. I’d like to thank my friends and colleagues for standing up firmly and aggressively to voice their opposition to these amendments. I don’t think there is another county in the State of NC, though I certainly hope there is one, where all the political leadership has shown this type of enlightened political courage.

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Meeting with SEANC Members at their Annual Conference

I would like to once again express my gratitude and appreciation to the State Employees Association of NC (SEANC) for endorsing me in my bid for reelection to the NC Senate. Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to join members of SEANC from across our state at their annual conference in Greensboro where I was able to speak one on one with many of their members to discuss issues of concern. It was great to see the excitement and enthusiasm of hundreds of SEANC members. I’d like to thank SEANC for being such a strong, vocal, and effective voice for our state’s employees as well as those who have retired from state employment. I’ve enjoyed working with them in the past, and I look forward to working with them and advocating on their behalf in the future.

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