Identification will be required at all polling places starting with this fall’s municipal elections.
Municipal elections are Nov. 7. Voters in Whiteville will cast ballots for two District 01 and one District 02 city council seats, and the mayor. Bolton will elect three aldermen and a mayor, and Brunswick will decide on two commissioners. Brunswick’s elected board chooses the mayor after each election cycle.
The new state law was by voters statewide in 2018. Democrats and special interest groups defeated the statewide vote in court, claiming the law discriminates against minorities. When the new state Supreme Court took over in January, it tossed out the previous ruling.
Beginning in November, voters will be required to show either a state-issued, free voter identification card, or a driver’s license, DMV non-operator’s ID, passport, state or local government identification, charter school staff identification, tribal membership card, military or veteran identification, or photo ID issued by the state or U.S. government for public assistance.
The board of elections will also soon have a system in place to provide “No Fee Voter IDs”, Elections Supervisor Ashley Collins said. The new voter ID machines will be in place before the start of early voting in each county, according to the State Board of Elections.
Voters who go to the polls without an ID will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, according to the new rules set down by the state. An exception form specifying why the voter cannot obtain an ID will be required with a provisional ballot. The voter can also cast a provisional ballot and return with a proper identification before Canvass Day.
Acceptable reasons for not having an approved ID include a lack of transportation, lost or stolen ID, disability or illness, and family responsibilities; a religious objection to being photographed; or the voter was a victim of a natural disaster within 100 days of Election Day.
Mail-in ballots will require a photocopy of the voter’s ID, or an exception form. Military absentees are exempt from that rule.