The winds of change are blowing in North Carolina election procedures, and the first ripples are about to be felt. North Carolinians will be asked for identification at the polls in Tuesday’s primary, and those who show up at the wrong polling place could have their ballots discounted.
It may be hard to believe in the information age, but many people have no idea where they are supposed to vote. It happens every year, but changes to state law have drastically changed the consequences.
Those who report to the wrong polling station to vote on Tuesday could have their whole ballot discounted according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
“We want every voter to fully participate in our democratic process, and that requires appearing at the right polling place,” said Executive Director Kim Westbrook Strach.
Voters may confirm their polling location online or contact their county board of elections for more information. Voters who moved within the same county on or before April 6, 2014 are eligible to vote in their new precinct and should enter their new address into the online tool. Voters who moved after April 6, 2014 are eligible to vote in their old precinct and should enter their old address into the online tool.
As for the identification request, ID will not be required until January 2016. Those who do not have ID on Tuesday will be asked to provide contact information so that they can receive information on how to obtain a free ID before the law requiring it goes into effect.
“Counties are working to ensure that lines move quickly while providing information to voters ahead of 2016,” said Election Preparation & Support Manager Veronica Degraffenreid.
The Board of Elections also released the early voting numbers ahead of the primary vote. Nearly 250,000 voters turned in ballots during the 10-day early voting period.