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News & Press: Updates for Members

December Advocacy Updates!

Friday, December 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Seth Maid
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By Kay Castillo, BSW, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation, Registered Lobbyist

This update includes information on the special legislative session and Voter I.D. Requirements!  

Click here to read the November Update detailing Election Results!

 

Special Legislative Session Action Alerts
NASW-NC sent out two action alerts for the upcoming special session to encourage social workers to advocate with their lawmakers!

Click here to read the first alert sent on Monday, November 13th. NASW-NC gave more details about the special session and detailed several asks of legislators while they craft the plan. These asks included:

  • Expansion of what forms of identification would be accepted to verify voter identity.
  • 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.
  • Increasing the hours and days of operation for I.D.-issuing centers.
  • 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.
  • 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. 

The week of Thanksgiving, legislators released details of their plan including exemptions for voters aged 70 and older to present expired I.D.s and removal of fees for special identification cards.

The day before the Special Session started, NASW-NC sent one more action alert out. Click here to read that update.

 

Special Session Update: What passed?
Besides addressing some more disaster relief funding needs, lawmakers passed the law for Voter. I.D.
Here are the details from Senate Bill 824:

 

How it Passed: The House of Representatives voted 67-40 in favor of the Voter ID bill. The House did send it back to the Senate with one amendment that focuses on the State Board of Elections ensuring there are rules in place to verify absentee ballots that are consistent with the in-person photo ID requirements. This would include the option for a voter to complete an affidavit saying they face a reasonable impediment to securing a valid photo ID. The Senate voted in favor of this version of the bill, in a 25-7 vote. The bill will now head to Governor Cooper’s desk, where he will choose to sign it into law or veto it.

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 North Carolina State Board of Elections is to adopt the rules around these cards but must ensure that the cards are good for ten 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. Ninety days prior to a card expiring, the County Board of Elections shall notify the voter about it’s expiration. 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, community college, or eligible private post-secondary institution. Cards must be issued in accordance with rules established by the legislation.  
  • An employee identification card issued by a state or local government entity, including a charter school, so long as the cards are issued in accordance with rules established by the legislation.
  • 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 65 years at the time of presentation at the voting place, provided that the identification was unexpired on the voter's 65th birthday.

Exceptions: If a voter has a religious objection to being photographed, reasonable impediment in obtaining a photo I.D., or they were in an area impacted by a natural disaster within the past 100 days, they may complete an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot. The State Board of Elections will establish rules regarding reasonable impediment. However, per the legislation, these must include: lack of transportation, disability or illness, lack of birth certificate or other underlying document, work schedule, family responsibilities, lost or stolen I.D., etc.

 

We look forward to seeing many of you on March 6, 2019 for the North Carolina Social Work Advocacy Day at the North Carolina Legislature in Raleigh.


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