Democracy North Carolina releases findings on North Carolina’s voter ID law

OFFERING INSIGHT: A group of volunteers from last March's primary pose for a photo, in between helping voters at the polls. Photo courtesy of Democracy North Carolina

This past March, 700 Democracy North Carolina volunteers spread out across the state to assure that no voter was illegally turned away from the polls on account of the state’s 2013 voter ID law. In addition to providing voters with information on their rights, volunteers also handed out short surveys asking voters about their experience.

This month, Democracy North Carolina has released findings that, they say, suggest the law had a negative impact on North Carolina voters. According to the organization’s website “1,419 provisional ballots cast were not counted during the March Primary because North Carolina voters did not have acceptable photo ID under the new rules.” They also said black voters were significantly less likely to have IDs.

Provisional ballots have to be validated before they can actually by counted in an election. Those who voted provisionally had until the day their county canvassed to present valid ID to the board of elections. In Buncombe County at least, that was a week later.

In contrast, Democracy North Carolina found “over 29,000 voters were able to participate in the March Primary by using either Same-Day Registration or Out-of-Precinct provisional voting.” These two voter “safety nets,” however, will be eliminated for the November General Election by the General Assembly’s 2013 voting law, unless overturned by a pending appeal in federal court.

The organization also found that confusion around the ID law contributed to administrative problems at the polls. According to Democracy North Carolina’s website, such confusion led to delays that “led voters to leave without voting.”

One instance of confusion at the polls that the organization cited in their findings involved Darlene Azarmi, a registered voter in Buncombe County and Democracy North Carolina’s Western North Carolina field organizer. “[She] was initially told she could not vote because she had lost her N.C. driver’s license. She was eventually given a provisional ballot without the “reasonable impediment” declaration. Only after personally visiting her county Board of Elections Director was Ms. Azarmi able to have her vote counted. Unlike Ms. Azarmi, most voters have not been trained in state voting procedures.”

Because of this new information, the organization has filed an amicus brief asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling and overturn North Carolina’s 2013 voting law prior to the November General Election.

For additional information visit: nc-democracy.org

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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22 thoughts on “Democracy North Carolina releases findings on North Carolina’s voter ID law

  1. Edison Carter

    Isn’t the entire exercise of “voter ID” to suppress votes? There hasn’t been any convictions pertaining to voter fraud in this country that has affected the outcome of any election . Period.

    A solution looking for a problem.

    Mission Accomplished!

    • Yep

      purpose is to PREVENT voter fraud and there has been plenty of it…read more at VoterIntegrityProject.com based here in NC
      and established to clean up the devastated NC voter ROLLS after several decades of fraudulent leadership by Asheville’s own
      Larry Leake who is WAY too embarrassed to admit FAULT to the CITIZENS ! ! ! He WILL NOT COMMENT! He is a SLEAZEBAG
      democrackkk !!!

      • Ken Hanke

        Good heavens, it must be a full-time job being this wound-up…

      • boatrocker

        Yep cites a source over and over and over, yet cannot post verifiable statistics about ‘voter fraud’ when asked.
        Par for the course.

        • Lulz

          Why yes Sinking Ship. Let’s not hold elections to any standards because you know, a country with 40 million illegals should vote. And then loons can say how the culture is progressing even though every stat that points to a huge decline because of people like you that say one thing yet don’t have to live it lulz. It’s like our local government cronies that support such things yet an hour later are eating 100.00 appetizers and drinking 200.00 bottles of wine. Yet they of course can relate to what they support LOL but only when handing out other peoples money though.

          • luther blissett

            “Let’s not hold elections to any standards because you know, a country with 40 million illegals should vote.”

            [citation needed]

            The problem, of course, is that the US doesn’t have any national standards for voter registration or elections, which means that states that have never been convinced by the principle of free and fair elections do their best to prevent free and fair elections from taking place. Jimmy Carter’s grandson, who oversees the Carter Center’s observer programs to assist new democracies hold free and fair elections, has said that they couldn’t do the same for the US because the standards differ not only from state to state, but from county to county and even from precinct to precinct. People in actual modern democracies hear about people standing four hours in line to vote and conclude that large parts of the US don’t really want elections to work.

            but who cares about that LOL lulZ LOL!1!

  2. Yep

    just spreading enlightenment about HOW the democrackkks CONTROLLED NC for 140+ years !!! such is not taught in government screwls!

    • boatrocker

      Yep, if you ever write a book (a real book without pictures), I will so advocate for it to be banned in public schools much like the GOP has done from Reagan and the Moron Majority onward with anything that does not agree with St. Raynd.
      Private schools are affluenza-infused breeding grounds for far right terrorists. Why do you hate America?

    • bsummers

      such is not taught in government screwls!

      Neither is spelling or complex reasoning skills, apparently.

      • Lulz

        LOL, I know. Just look at pro sports players who can’t manage to use proper English lulz. Yet many went to college LOL. It’s as fake as the crap the leftist spew in the country formerly known as the USA LOL.

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