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Early Voters Need Valid ID—Or A Good Excuse

A picture of a voting sign.
Keith Ivey
Early voting begins today.

Early primary voting begins tomorrow morning and runs through March 12.

North Carolina State Board of Elections Spokeswoman Jackie Hyland says early ballots offer the same candidates as the March 15 primary ballot. But early voters may register the same day as they vote.

Hyland says the a state law requiring valid photo identification is now in effect.  Voters without ID may sign an affidavit explaining why they have no ID and receive a provisional ballot.

"Now, if the voter signed a reasonable impediment declaration, the provisional ballot will be counted when the identifying information for the voter on the declaration is verified and it's determined that the reason provided was not merely denigrating or mocking the statute or was simply nonsensical," she says. "You know... It has to be a reasonable reason for not having a photo ID."

Hyland says these reasons include lack of proper documents, family obligations, transportation problems, work schedule, illness, and disability.

"Unless there is a challenge, the county board will not question the facts, and under no circumstance will the county board question the reasonableness of the reason provided."

Hyland says voters who have ID but forget to bring it with them to the polls will also receive a provisional ballot.


Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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