Will You Need to Show ID at the Polls to Vote in NC?

Voters already do not have to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in the March primary, and attorneys say with a new court ruling this week it’s increasingly unlikely they will have to show an ID in the November general election either.

The NC Court of Appeals put the state’s voter ID law on hold Tuesday. The Civitas Institute, a conservative group, filed ethics complaints Wednesday against two of the judges who ruled in the case.

The judges determined the plaintiffs suing in the case are likely to prove the General Assembly acted with “discriminatory intent.”

Jeanette Doran, president and general counsel of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, said, “It’s pretty likely that we’re not going to have this law in place in November, and that’s, again, that’s a tragedy.”

In 2018, voters by a margin of 55-45 approved amending the state’s constitution to require voters to show a photo ID when they cast a ballot. The amendment did not spell out the specifics, leaving it to the General Assembly to pass a law implementing the new requirement. 

The bill they passed at the end of 2018 has been the subject of litigation since then.

In a separate case, a federal judge’s ruling at the end of last year put the implementation of the law on hold, meaning voters would not have to show ID for the March primary.

Tomas Lopez is executive director of Democracy NC, which has fought against the voter ID law.

He said the latest ruling “does reduce the likelihood of seeing voter ID applied this fall.”  

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