Are you planning to vote in 2014? The North Carolina legislature will likely enact a Voter ID law soon. Voter fraud cases in this state are almost nonexistent. An estimated half a million legally registered voters in N.C. may lose their right to vote should this law be enacted. We all know elderly family members, disabled persons, college students, etc. who are eligible to vote but lack the proper identification that will be required. Familiarize yourself with the provisions of this proposed law and be prepared now. There are no make-up days for registration or voting. “Forewarned is forearmed.”
On Election Day you must present a valid driver’s license or a state issued photo ID. The information on your license or ID must match the voters’ rolls. Is your driver’s license up to date? Have you moved or has your license expired? Renew and update it now. You no longer drive and/or don’t have a driver’s license? You will need an official birth certificate as proof of your identity. If you don’t have one, apply for it now. This process will cost from $25 to $50 and may take months. Delay may cause you to miss the 30-day registration period.
Without a current driver’s license you need proof of your residence. Do you have utility bills, tax receipts etc. to document of your legal residence in North Carolina? If your spouse pays the bills and you don’t have a driver’s license, consider having your name put on a utility bill. Have you recently married, divorced or changed your name? Your current name must match the name on the voter rolls. If it doesn’t you must take documentation to prove you are who you say you are.
You must vote in the precinct where you live. If you have moved since you last voted, go to voter registration. Take all necessary documents and change your voting precinct. Act now and contact your state legislators to express your opposition to the proposed law. Don’t let yourself, a friend or loved one lose their right to vote as a result of the restrictive provisions in a Voter ID law.
Margery Abel — Franklin, N.C.