More eligible North Carolinians will have access to the ballot box this year, as the State Board of Elections added to the list of approved student and employee IDs that can be used to vote in the upcoming election.
According to a press release, the State Board of Elections has approved 21 additional student and government identification cards to be used for this year’s primary and general elections.
As of today, the State Board of Elections has approved more than 120 different forms of identification that must be accepted at polling locations across the state.
“We appreciate all colleges and universities and local governments that have applied to have their IDs approved,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, stated in the press release. “We urge all North Carolina voters to ensure they have an acceptable ID for voting purposes ahead of the 2024 primary election on March 5.”
Last November’s municipal elections marked the first time photo ID has been required for North Carolina voters casting ballots since a similar law was temporarily in effect for the 2016 primaries.
The requirement comes after years of legal battles between state Republicans and voting rights groups, who allege that the law is part of racially motivated voter suppression efforts.
In addition, advocates across the nation have sounded the alarm on these controversial measures, as many voter ID laws ban student IDs as acceptable forms of identification; making it more difficult for young people to vote in upcoming elections.
To ease the hurdle for some eligible North Carolina voters, the State Board of Elections has approved a list of student and employee identification cards that are acceptable statewide for use as photo identification for voting through Dec. 31, 2024.
“I feel like it makes it a whole lot easier because it gives us a lot more options, a lot more opportunity to go out and vote,” Ashonilei Royal, a student at Pitt Community College, told WITN. “I do believe it makes it a lot easier, it could actually help more students and people get more votes or actually go out and vote.”
For eligible North Carolinians without an ID, you can obtain a Voter ID for free at the state Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, the county boards of elections will provide a free ID card to any voter who asks for one, according to the State Board of Elections website.
A complete list of acceptable IDs is available at Voter ID.
For a list of all the acceptable forms of voter IDs, along with the State Board of Elections FAQ page, click here.