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State Board of Elections leads voter ID training

SALISBURY — To begin educating voters ahead of the 2020 elections, a State Board of Elections official stopped in Rowan County to give information about the voter IDs.

Voters will be required to present identification starting with the 2020 primary elections. Voters will not have to show an ID for the 2019 municipal elections.

In the 2018 general election, voters approved a constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote in the state.

Jason Schrader, a training specialist with Board of Elections, gave two presentations Monday — one at 9:30 a.m. at West End Plaza and another at 5 p.m. at the Salisbury Civic Center. The board will offer two voter ID seminars in every county before Sept. 1. Schrader said he expects another statewide seminar will be scheduled early next year ahead of the March 3 primary.

The accepted identification cards will include a driver’s license, a non-operator ID, a U.S. passport, a tribal enrollment card, an approved student ID, an approved employee ID and a military or veteran ID card.

Expired driver’s licenses will be accepted if it’s been expired a year or less. If the voter is 65 or older, an expired form of any of the IDs will be allowed if it expired on their 65th birthday or later.

Student IDs from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Livingstone College will be accepted. Catawba College and Hood Theological Seminary were not included on the list. Schrader said it will be updated Nov. 1 and likely include more colleges and government organizations.

If voters do not have an approved form of ID, they can get a state voter ID card at the Rowan County Board of Elections Office. Director Nancy Evans said the office has already produced 40 cards. The cards are free and valid for 10 years. Those who want a voter photo ID will have to provide their name, date of birth and last four digits of their Social Security number.

“This is one of the biggest questions: ‘Can I vote without an ID?’” Schrader said. “All voters will be able to vote with or without an accepted form of voter ID. If voting in person, you’ll be asked to present acceptable photo ID card. If you do not have one, you may obtain one from the county Board of Elections Office.”

On Election Day, voters can fill out a provisional ballot but will have to provide identification during canvassing — the 10 days after the election when the county verifies the results. 

“No one will ever be turned away from the polls or told they cannot vote because they do not have a photo ID,” Schrader said. “One of the most important things to be taken away from today’s session is no one is going to be turned away because they do not have an ID.”

In the canvassing period, provisional voters can bring an acceptable ID or sign an affidavit declaring a reason that prevented them from showing a photo ID. The reasonable impediments include lack of transportation, a disability or illness, lack of a birth certificate or other documents required to obtain a photo ID, work schedules, family responsibilities, a lost or stolen photo ID, photo ID applied for but not received or another reason described by the voter.

Absentee voters should provide a copy of their ID with their ballot.

Schrader said there are still some unknowns the state is trying to work through, like if someone doesn’t have a way to copy an ID.

“As soon as all of those things are decided, that will be distributed to the county, and the county will let you know,” Schrader said.

Schrader showed where people can register to vote, such as the county Board of Elections Office, voter registration drives and several agency services.

You cannot register to vote online or vote online in North Carolina, he warned.

For more information, Schrader recommended voters visit www.ncsbe.gov/voter-id or call 866-522-4723. 

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