NC county boards of election offering free photo IDs for voting

By: - August 2, 2023 3:34 pm
the entrance to a voting precinct

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Registered voters can now obtain free photo ID from their county boards of election.

Voters will be asked to show photo identification when they cast ballots in municipal elections this fall. Drivers licenses, state ID cards, passports and other forms of identification can be used.

The state Board of Elections announced Wednesday that county election offices are ready to offer IDs to registered voters who don’t have any of the other acceptable forms of identification.

Voters will be asked for their name, date of birth, and the last four digits of their Social Security number, the state Board of Elections said in a news release. The IDs may be ready on the spot in most counties, but a few counties will have to mail the IDs or have voters pick them up later.

North Carolina has a voter ID law in place for the first time since the spring 2016 primary.

Even though they will be asked for photo ID, voters without it will be able to cast ballots after filling out ID Exception forms saying why they don’t have it.

All voters now have at least one place in their county where they can obtain photo identification that they can use to cast ballots.

Carolina Demography reported last week that 17 of the state’s 100 counties don’t have DMV offices.  People seeking to obtain drivers licenses or state ID cards in those counties must cross county lines. Of those 17 counties, 11 have proportions of Black voting-age residents that are higher than the state average.

Even people who live in counties with one or more DMV offices may have a hard time getting an appointment.

Of the state’s 116 DMV offices, more than 70 on Wednesday they did not have appointments available for people seeking to obtain new licenses. DMV offices see people by appointment in the morning and accept walk-ins in the afternoon.

Click here to find a DMV office near you.

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Lynn Bonner
Lynn Bonner

Investigative Reporter Lynn Bonner covers the state legislature and politics, as well as elections, the state budget, public and mental health, safety net programs and issues of racial equality.