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Action Alert: What Social Workers Need to Know About Proposed Voter I.D. Law

Monday, November 26, 2018   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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North Carolina voters decided this month to add a voter photo I.D. requirement to the state constitution. The legislature is returning tomorrow to pass a law to implement the constitutional change.


Last week, legislative leaders released a draft bill with their plans for voter I.D. Several highlights of the bill include:

Free Photo I.D. Cards: County Boards of Elections will issue voter photo I.D. cards free of charge to registered voters that request one (the estimated actual cost of these "free" I.D.s is $75-175 per person and state government costs up to $78 million). The North Carolina State Board of Elections is to adopt the rules around these cards but must ensure that the cards are good for eight years, require the voter to provide their date of birth and last four digits of their social security number, issue these cards at any time except on election day or primary election day and before registration deadlines for elections. These cards would be available starting May 1, 2019.

Photo I.D. Requirement: These forms of identification must be valid. and cannot be expired unless the voter is older than 70.

  • A North Carolina driver's license
  • North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles identification cards for non-drivers
  • U.S. passports
  • A new North Carolina voter I.D. card (detailed above)
  • A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally or state-recognized tribe.
  • A student I.D. card from a University of North Carolina school (no private school i.d. would count)
  • A driver's license or ID card issued by another state, if the voter's registration came within 90 days of the election

Additional forms of I.D. that can be used:

Regardless of whether the identification contains a printed expiration or issuance date:

  1. A military identification card issued by the United States government.
  2. A Veterans Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for use at Veterans Administration medical facilities.

Any expired form of identification is allowed if presented by a voter having attained the age of 70 years at the time of presentation at the voting place, provided that the identification was unexpired on the voter's 70th birthday.

Exceptions: If a voter has a religious objection to being photographed or reasonable impediment in obtaining a photo I.D., they may complete an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot.

What's next? Even though session does not start until tomorrow, Tuesday, November 27, Legislators meet TODAY at 10:00 am to hear several presentations on their plan and discuss in further detail. Listen online at, Room 544!


 Take Action 

Social workers should contact their legislators to ensure their voices are heard and that legislators do not fast track such an important issue!

Contact your legislators and let them know they need to include the following in their draft legislation:

  • Allow student I.D.s for private universities, community colleges (which are state schools), and historically black colleges and universities. Do not make it harder for students to vote!
  • Removal of fees for birth certificates, marriage licenses, and government issued I.D.s needed for voter verification purposes. Failure to do this will result in an indirect poll tax; which is illegal.
  • Exemptions for aging and/or disabled adults including allowing for no expiration date required for I.D.s presented by voters age 65 and older. The draft legislation only allowed for voters age 70 and older to use expired i.d.
  • Exempt the need for photo I.D. for those that are curbside voting. Curbside voting is substantially used by individuals with disabilities and aging adults. 

Join NASW-NC tomorrow in Raleigh at 10:00 am for a Moral Day of Action, on Bicentennial Plaza, 1 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601.


Kay P. Castillo says...
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Hey Eric! Thank you so much for your feedback! We do not want barriers to be created just for students under the requirement. Many schools require rigorous information to get access to a student ID as presented in a legislative committee yesterday. Under the draft bill, there are several components that require the State Board of Elections to develop processes and regulations about so allowing them to create this for student IDs could be fair to all systems across the state should legislators decide to move forward with the allowance. Additionally, not allowing Community College IDs is a barrier to minority groups, who are more liking to enroll in these schools. The same with students, we do not want to create hardships for disabled and aging persons in our state who are otherwise eligible to vote. We take the right to vote seriously and advocate for those across the board! Again, thanks for your feedback and insight into this important matter!
Eric L. Davis says...
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018
1. Student ID's would circumvent the intent of this change. There is no verification process for legal documents. 4. There's no need to exempt curbside voting from ID requirements. Disability is not an excuse. I'm disabled and maintain 4 different government issued ID cards. To even have a disability placard, I must have ID, whether I drive or not.

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