AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REQUIRING PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE.
Enacts GS 163A-869.1, requiring county boards of elections to issue voter photo identification cards (photo ID cards) to registered voters upon request at no charge beginning no later than May 1, 2019. Describes the cards, requiring that they contain the voter’s photograph and voter registration number and expire eight years after issuance. Directs county boards of elections to maintain a secure database containing photographs of registered voters taken for voter ID cards. Requires the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement (State Board) make available to county boards of elections the necessary equipment to print the cards, while county boards operate and maintain the equipment. Directs the State Board to adopt related rules no later than April 15, 2019, including at minimum: (1) requiring registered voters to provide their date of birth and last four digits of their social security number to obtain a photo ID card; (2) issuing photo ID cards at any time except between registration deadline and election day for a primary or election; and (3) allowing for issuance of duplicate photo ID cards at no charge upon request in person, by phone, or by mail.
Enacts GS 163A-1145.1, setting out the requirement to produce photo identification to vote in person. Outlines acceptable forms of photo identification, including a valid and unexpired, or expired for one year or less: NC driver's license; a special identification card or similar card issued by the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); a US passport; an NC voter photo identification card; a tribal enrollment card issued by a federally or state recognized tribe; a student ID card issued in accordance with new GS 163A-1145.2 by a constituent institution of UNC, the NC Community College System, or eligible private postsecondary institution; an employee identification card issued in accordance with new GS 163A-1145.3 by a state or local government; or a drivers license or special identification card issued by another state, DC, or a US territory so long as the voter’s voter registration was within 90 days of the election. Allows for a US military identification card or Veterans Identification Card to be presented and accepted regardless of expiration. Allows for any expired form of identification allowed by the statute to be presented by a voter who is 65 years old so long as the identification was unexpired on the voter’s 65th birthday. Details verification of photo identification presented by an assigned precinct official. Allows registered voters that cannot produce the required photo identification to cast a provisional ballot that will be counted only if the voter brings an acceptable form of photo identification to the county board of elections by the end of business on the business day prior to the county’s canvass. Allows those with a religious objection to being photographed, a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo identification, or unable to produce a photo ID due to being a victim of a natural disaster to cast a provisional ballot upon completion of an affidavit as described. Provides for the county board of elections to review photo identification exceptions and affidavits. Specifies that the purpose of the required identification is only to confirm the person presenting to vote is the voter on the registration record, and that an address listed on any identification is not determinative of residence for voting purposes.
Enacts GS 163A-1145.2 and GS 163A-1145.3, setting out a process for the State Board to approve the use of student and employee identification cards for voting and detailing criteria that must be met, including that identification cards contain an expiration date, effective January 1, 2021, and institutions and employing entities employ reasonable security measures to protect the identification process. Requires the State Board to (1) approve the use of student and employee identification cards every four years and (2) publish a list of participating institutions and entities to its website every four years and disburse the list to county boards of elections.
Requires the State Board to approve tribal enrollment cards, student identification cards, and employee identification cards no later than March 15, 2019, for use in primaries and elections held in 2019 and 2020, and again no later than March 15, 2021, for elections held on or after that date. Directs the State Board to adopt temporary rules regarding reasonable security measures for student or employee ID cards no later than February 1, 2019, and permanent rules on the matter no later than May 15, 2021. Requires the State Board to produce the initial list of participating institutions and employing entities no later than April 1, 2019.
Permits otherwise acceptable student and employee identification cards that do not have an expiration date to be eligible for use in any election held before January 1, 2021.
Allows any voter who does not present an acceptable form of photo identification for an election held in 2019 to cast a provisional ballot and complete an impediment affidavit for not being aware of the requirement or failing to bring an acceptable form of photo identification to the voting place.
Amends GS 20-37.7 to allow special identification cards to be issued free of charge to applicants who are at least 17 (was, 70) years old. Requires the DMV to automatically issue and mail at no charge a special identification card to a person whose valid driver's license, permit, or endorsement is required to be seized or surrendered, and is received, due to cancellation, disqualification, suspension, or revocation, if the person is eligible to receive a special identification card. Makes conforming changes.
Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-1137 and GS 163A-1300 concerning presenting photo identification to vote in person.
Directs the State Board to establish an aggressive voter education program concerning the new provisions, including: posting information concerning voter ID changes at each county board of elections, the State Board’s office, and their respective websites; training precinct officials; coordinating with each county board of elections to conduct seminars prior to September 1, 2019; and coordinating with local governments, service organizations, and media outlets to disseminate voter ID changes to the public, with dissemination in Spanish and other languages. Additionally requires education materials be provided to underserved and minority communities. Specifically requires the State Board to notify each registered voter who does not have an NC issued driver’s license or identification card by September 1, 2019, of the act’s provisions; the requirements to vote absentee, early, on election day, or by provisional ballot; and state the availability of a free NC voter photo ID card. Further requires information be mailed to all registered voters three times describing acceptable forms of photo identification, options for provisional voting, and a description of mail-in absentee voting. Requires the State Board to create a list of all registered NC voters who are otherwise qualified to vote but do not have an NC driver's license or other photo identification issued by the NC DMV as of September 1, 2019. Requires the list be made available to any registered voter upon request and at a reasonable fee. Requires the NC DMV to provide the list of persons with an NC driver's license or other photo identification issued by the NC DMV at no cost to the State Board.
Requires county boards of elections to make information available regarding the act to all voters in the 2019 municipal primary and election and at the 2020 primary election.
Makes conforming changes to repeal Sections 1.1, 5.2, 5.3 (as amended by SL 2015-103), 5.4, and 5.5 of SL 2013-381, the Voter Information Verification Act.
Makes conforming changes, repealing the following statutes relating to voter identification: GS 163A-868, GS 163A-869(e), GS 163A-1140(b), GS 163A-1145, GS 163A-1146, GS 163A-1147, GS 163A-1167, GS 163A-1168, and GS 163A-1301.
Amends GS 163A-1389, making it a Class I felony to counterfeit, sell, lend to, or knowingly permit the use of a form of acceptable photo identification listed in new GS 163A-1145.1 by one not entitled thereto.
Amends GS 163A-821, authorizing the chair of each political party in the state to designate up to 100 additional at-large observers who can attend any voting place in the state. Requires observers to be residents and registered voters of North Carolina, and be of good moral character. Make clarifying changes.
Makes further conforming changes to GS 163A-913, GS 130A-93.1, GS 161-10(a)(8), GS 163A-1389(13), GS 163A-821, GS 163A-867(g)(2), GS 163A-1133(b), GS 163A-1134(e), GS 163A-1298(a), GS 163A-1300(a) and (i), GS 163A-1303, GS 163A-1306, GS 163A-1308(c), GS 163A-1310(c), GS 163A-1315, GS 163A-1368, GS 163A-1411(41), and GS 163A-1520(a).
Authorizes the State Board to exhaust the Voter Education Fund to implement the Act.
© 2019 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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