NC Voters Unlikely to Face Photo-ID Requirement at the Polls in November

NC Voters Unlikely to Face Photo-ID Requirement at the Polls in November

With recent articles—accurate or not—suggesting that “Trump admits he is undermining USPS to make it harder to vote by mail” or that “Trump confesses to voter suppression,” North Carolina residents are undoubtedly thinking about how they’ll vote come November. 

The good news is that voting by mail is easier in North Carolina than it is in most states. As North Carolina News Daily’s own Conner Digiacomo explained in July, North Carolina’s vote-by-mail process is relatively straightforward. And, while NC residents continue to persevere through all of the struggles that come with COVID-19, taking advantage of absentee voting may well be the right move.

But potential problems with voting by mail aren’t the only issue being addressed by NC lawmakers. Earlier this week, three NC Superior Court judges denied another attempt for a photo-ID voting requirement.

NC Lawmakers Have Spent Months Trying to Implement a Photo-ID Requirement at the Polls

Over the past several years, Republican lawmakers in NC have sought to impose a photo-ID votirequirement. While it certainly wasn’t the first effort toward this goal, the lawmakers took a significant step in 2017 with Session Law 2018-144. On its face, that law is designed “to implement the constitutional amendment requiring photographic identification to vote.”

For months, Republican lawmakers have continued their pursuit of the photo-ID requirement despite numerous setbacks. This past week, they faced yet another one that will likely spell the end of the efforts before November.

Earlier this Week, Three NC Judges Denied What’s Likely to be the Lawmakers’ Last Attempt Before November

On Aug. 12, three North Carolina Superior Court judges entered an order declining to dissolve the previously entered preliminary injunction. That injunction precluded the implementation and enforcement of the photo-ID requirement in SL 2018.

Opponents of photo-ID requirements contend that the laws disproportionately prevent low-income, minority, elderly, and disabled voters from exercising their constitutional right to vote. This is largely because of the difficulties involved in obtaining ID—like the cost—in the first place. Proponents of the requirements, on the other hand, assert that the photo-ID requirements could prevent voter fraud.

Depending on your personal experience, you might be an opponent, a proponent, or fall somewhere in between. But, come November, it’s fairly unlikely you’ll need a photo ID if you vote in person.