With the recent NC Supreme Court decision, voters will be asked to show photo ID when casting their ballot in North Carolina, starting with this year’s 2023 local town and city elections. 

Democracy is not a spectator sport, and it is up to all of us not only to make sure we are ready for the new ID requirement, but to make sure everyone else around us is aware of and ready for the new rules. 

Here are some pointers so that you can be ready:

  1. In North Carolina, local elections for town and city boards may occur in September, October, or November, but in Rowan County the election date of all our town and city elections is Tuesday, November 7th. 
  2. Most voters can simply show their unexpired NC driver’s license, but many other types of photo ID will be accepted, including a US Passport or Card, a NCDMV issued State ID, a North Carolina voter photo ID card issued by a county board of elections (available soon), College or university student ID approved by the State Board of Elections (available soon), or a State or local government or charter school employee ID approved by the State Board of Elections.
  3. Voters without ID can get a “No Fee ID Card” from the NCDMV. Soon, voters will also be able to get a free Voter ID card directly from their county board of elections. In Rowan County, we are working to have this service available as soon as possible. 
  4. The State Board of Elections  is developing a process for approving student and public employee IDs for voting. Lists will be added to the NC State Board of Elections Website as soon as the IDs are approved.
  5. When a voter checks in to vote at a polling place, they will be asked to show an acceptable photo ID. Election workers check to see if the picture on the ID reasonably resembles the voter. The address on the photo ID does not have to match the voter registration records.
  6. All voters will be allowed to vote with or without a photo ID. If the voter does not show an acceptable ID, the voter may vote with an ID Exception Form and a provisional ballot, or vote with a provisional ballot and return to their county board of elections office with their photo ID by the day before county canvass. That deadline for Rowan County voters is Thursday, November 16th. 
  7. Permitted exceptions to the photo ID requirement include the following: the voter has a reasonable impediment to showing photo ID (lack of transportation, lost or stolen ID, disability or illness, family responsibilities, etc.); the voter has a religious objection to being photographed; or the voter was a victim of a natural disaster within 100 days of Election Day.
  8. When a registered voter cannot produce a photo ID, the county board of elections must count that ballot if the voter properly completes the ID Exception Form or brings an acceptable ID to their county board of elections before the county canvass.
  9. Voters who vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID inside the photo ID envelope that comes with their ballot. If they are unable to include a photocopy of their ID, they may complete an ID Exception Form with the absentee ballot return envelope. Detailed instructions will be included in the Voter’s Mail-in Ballot packet. 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Rowan County Board of Elections at 704-216-8140.

Kenneth Stutts

Rowan County Board of Elections