Charlotte voters reminded to include photocopy of ID with mail ballots

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte City Council’s Democratic primary is officially underway. The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections mailed around 200 ballots to voters on Friday and sent out around 500 more overseas. When people return their votes over the next few weeks, they’ll have to include something different than years past. A copy of their ID.

“It really hopefully will be seamless,” Kristin Mavromatis with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections said. “There are a few more steps. It will take a little longer, but hopefully it will still be quite easy.”

The copy of the I-D doesn’t have to be in color. If you don’t have access to a copy machine, you can fill out an included form with your drivers license or social security number. The Board of Elections is pleading for people to not put their actual ID in the mail.

“Don’t put your driver’s license in the package,” Mavromatis said. “Keep it with you.”

There are exceptions you can fill out on the form if you are having trouble getting a photo for things like lack of transportation or illness. Staff will review each case and work with people.

This is the new reality for voting in North Carolina. Mavromatis is encouraging voters to make extra copies of their ID for future elections.

“If you yourself don’t have a photocopier but you know your neighbor does, go ahead and make 3-5 copies of it and have it hidden in your drawer where you hide all of your other important documents,” she said. “That way you can have it handy for future elections.”

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections is offering a free NC Voter ID card for voters. You can have one created at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office weekdays from 8-5. You can also get a free card from the DMV.

Acceptable IDs

Any of the following that is unexpired, or expired for one year or less:

  • North Carolina driver’s license
  • State ID from the NCDMV (also called “non-operator ID”)
  • Driver’s license or non-driver ID from another state, District of Columbia or U.S. territory (only if voter registered in North Carolina within 90 days of the election)
  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card
  • North Carolina voter photo ID card issued by a county board of elections
  • College or university student ID approved by the State Board of Elections
  • State or local government or charter school employee ID approved by the State Board of Elections

Note: A voter 65 or older may use an expired form of acceptable ID if the ID was unexpired on their 65th birthday.

Any of the following, regardless of whether the ID contains an expiration or issuance date:

  • Military or veterans ID card issued by the U.S. government
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by a tribe recognized by the State or federal government
  • ID card issued by an agency of the U.S. government or the State of North Carolina for a public assistance program

ID Exceptions

If any voter is unable to show photo ID when voting (whether in person or by mail), they may fill out an ID Exception Form and vote their ballot. The voter will choose from the following permitted exceptions.

  • The voter has a “reasonable impediment” to showing photo ID. This means that something is preventing the voter from showing ID. The voter must provide their reason by selecting from the following choices on the form.
  • Lack of transportation
  • Disability or illness
  • Lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain ID
  • Work schedule
  • Family responsibilities
  • Lost or stolen photo ID
  • Photo ID applied for but not yet received
  • (For mail voters only) Unable to attach a copy of photo ID
  • Other reasonable impediment (if selected, the voter must write the reason on the form)
  • The voter has a religious objection to being photographed.
  • The voter was a victim of a natural disaster within 100 days before Election Day.

County boards of elections must count provisional ballots with properly completed ID Exception Forms.

For more information on voter ID, click here.

(WATCH BELOW: Former restaurant no longer to be used for early voting, board members say)