RALEIGH –Governor Pat McCrory signed the General Assembly’s Voter I.D. bill into law on Monday, making us the 34th state to require identification to vote.
The bill requires a form of government-issued photo I.D. to be able to vote, not including student I.D. or out-of-state driver’s licenses.
As a part of the Voter I.D. bill, North Carolinians can no longer register on Election Day, early voting periods are limited from 17 days to 10 days and 16- and 17-year-olds who would be eligible to vote on Election Day are not allowed to pre-register. The bill also eliminates early voting on Sundays. Voters must give any updates about change of address or other changes at least 25 days in advance of Election Day.
The time polls can stay open can no longer be extended, even if there are long lines that will prevent everyone from getting a chance to vote.
Political parties are now allowed to send ten observers to different voting precincts to monitor voting on Election Day and gives citizens the authority to challenge the legality of someone else’s voting if they live in the same county.
Straight-ticket voting, which allows a voter to check a box saying they are voting for all of the Republican or all of the Democratic candidates on a ballot, is now gone as well. Voters who show up at the wrong precinct are no longer given a provisional ballot so they can vote properly.
Individuals can now donate up to $5,000 to political campaigns, up from the previous $4,000.
The bill was initially held in the Senate to see what the Supreme Court’s decision in the Voting Rights Act case would be. With the Supreme Court striking down part of the Voting Rights Act in June, states like North Carolina with a history of racially-motivated voter suppression no longer need federal approval to make changes to voting laws.