Area counties to hold voter ID seminars


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

With North Carolina voters required to show photo identification starting with next year's elections, area election officials plan to host informational meetings on the new voting requirement in the coming months.

The Camden Board of Elections plans to hold the area's first meetings on the photo voter ID requirement. Two meetings are scheduled on Monday, July 1, one at 1 p.m., the other at 5 p.m. Both will be held at the Camden County Library, located at 104 Investor's Way.

The Currituck Board of Elections will hold its meetings next, on Tuesday, July 2. One meeting is at 2 p.m., the other at 7 p.m. Both will be held in the auditorium of the Currituck Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension at 120 Community Way, Barco.

The meetings for Chowan, Perquimans and Pasquotank will take place in either late July or early August.

The photo ID meetings are a result of a constitutional amendment that voters approved last fall, following years of partisan battles over the requirement generally favored by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.

That amendment requires a photo ID to vote, but lawmakers and Gov. Roy Cooper agreed to delay its implementation until 2020 to ensure the change happens smoothly — especially in light of ongoing special elections to fill vacant seats in the state's 3rd and 9th congressional districts.

A press release from Camden Elections Director Elaine Best further explains that, in 2020, voters will be required to show photo ID to vote, “with some exceptions.” To help implement the amendment, lawmakers have also required county boards of elections to hold at least two seminars on voter ID.

Voters who attend the meetings will get information about different ways to vote, including absentee-by-mail or early, in-person voting, plus information about what IDs are acceptable and how to obtain free IDs. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Information about the photo ID requirement is also available at the main page of the State Board of Elections' website, www.ncsbe.gov. A PowerPoint shows that voters without IDs must cast provisional ballots, and, if they do not later produce an acceptable ID, they must sign a statement declaring a “reasonable impediment” prevented them from offering ID.

Based on interviews with elections staff, the meetings for Chowan, Perquimans and Pasquotank will be:

* Chowan: Monday, July 22 at 6 p.m., in the conference room of the Chowan Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension at 730 N. Granville St., Edenton; and Tuesday, July 23 at 10 a.m., at the Northern Chowan Community Center at 2869 Virginia Road, Tyner.

* Perquimans: Friday, July 25, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., at the elections office at 601 S. Edenton Road St., Hertford.

* Pasquotank: Both meetings are on Monday, Aug. 12. The first, which is at noon, will be in Room 216 of the administration building at College of The Albemarle, at 1208 N. Road St., Elizabeth City. The second meeting, which is at 7 p.m., will be held in Room 206 of the student center at Elizabeth City State University at 1704 Weeksville Road, Elizabeth City.