As in-person voting starts in Charlotte, remember to bring your ID

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte residents will be voting in person soon when polls open for the Charlotte City Council Democratic Primary at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Hal Marshall Center in Uptown.

This year, there will be a new requirement: A photo ID.

Channel 9 Government Reporter Joe Bruno spoke to the elections director for the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections about the verification process and what you should do if you do not have an identification card.

Elections Director Michael Dickerson said he does not want people to stress out about this.

“I want to make sure we count everybody’s vote,” he said. “I want to make sure that everyone has that opportunity to vote and that is what we are in the business to do.”

There are many different types of IDs you can use at the polls. Those include a driver’s license, a North Carolina identification card, a North Carolina DMV-issued ID card, a passport, or a military/veterans ID.

You can also use a new NC Voter ID card. The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections makes them for free on weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at their office.

“When you hear voter ID, that scares people. When you hear photo ID, we all have a photo ID. I used mine to get here this morning,” Dickerson said.

The Board of Elections said they have made dozens of NC Voter ID cards for voters, including one for Sammy Davis.

“Come down here and get it done,” he said. “It is quick, fast, and you’ll be out of here in a second.”

If you aren’t able to get an ID or you misplace yours, you can fill out a reasonable impediment form. Dickerson said if you fill it out truthfully, your vote will count.

“Our job is to help you vote it is not to stop you from voting,” Dickerson said.

Dickerson says they are not verifying the address on the ID. He also says if you don’t look identical to the photo on your ID, you don’t need to worry.

“They are looking for is reasonable resemblance. ‘Oh yeah, that looks like you.’ And most of our driver’s licenses look like each other,” Dickerson explained.

While it is an extra step, Dickerson said his office is here to help. He said wants everyone to vote and says his team will do everything it can to make sure that happens.

Acceptable IDs

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

Note: A voter 65 or older may use an expired form of acceptable ID if it 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

Excuses on the Reasonable Impediment Form

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.

VIDEO: Charlotte voters reminded to include photocopy of ID with mail ballots

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