State Board of Elections approves IDs for students, public employees

N.C. State Board of Elections image

RALEIGH — The N.C. State Board of Elections (NCSBE) has approved certain student and public employee ID’s for use in voting in upcoming 2023 municipal elections and 2024 general elections. 

Following the ruling by the N.C. Supreme Court, an identification method that contains a photograph will be required at the polls in all upcoming elections. 

“We are grateful to all institutions that applied to have their identification cards approved for voters for the 2023 municipal elections,” NCSBE Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said in a statement. “This gives voters additional options when casting their ballot.” 

In a press release, the NCSBE cited approval of 99 ID cards that include a photo from across the state for voting purposes. The approved cards include all UNC System schools, a number of private higher education institutions, county governments, and charter schools.  

IDs for six institutions were not approved for the upcoming 2023 municipal elections because the ID submitted lacked the legal requirement of an expiration date. According to the NCSBE, those entities can re-apply during the next application period for the 2024 elections. 

A full list of the newly approved IDs can be found on the NCSBE website under press releases. 

The approved student and public employee IDs are in addition to the other accepted forms of photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport.  

“We strongly encourage members of the media and advocacy groups to provide accurate information to voters about the photo ID requirement, including the available exceptions,” Brinson Bell said. “This new process should not discourage or prevent any eligible individual from voting and having their ballot counted. The State Board and county boards of elections are here to assist any voter who needs an ID or has questions about this law.” 

“All voters will be allowed to vote with or without and ID,” the NCSBE press release states. “If an in-person voter does not provide an acceptable ID, the voter may fill out a Photo ID Exception Form and vote a provisional ballot or vote a provisional ballot and bring an acceptable ID to the county board of elections office by the day before the county canvass.” 

Additionally, a person electing to vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of an ID with their ballot or complete a Photo ID Exception Form for Absentee Voting. The photocopy will be mailed in a special envelope to protect the voter’s personal information. 

Both of the exception forms can be found on the NCSBE’s website. 

In the near future, free photo ID will also be available through county boards of election.