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North Carolina Blocking Voters? New ID Laws Could Be Keeping People From Polls

Image: North Carolina Blocking Voters? New ID Laws Could Be Keeping People From Polls
North Carolina State University students wait in line to vote in the primaries at Pullen Community Center on March 15, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images )

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 12:16 PM

North Carolina is being accused of blocking voters with its voter identification law, which could have prevented residents who are registered to vote but who don't have a government-issued photo ID from hitting the polls Tuesday — an estimated 218,000 people in the state alone.

North Carolina voter-ID law opponents have pointed to the numbers to argue that the law affects minorities, students, and low-income residents disproportionately — groups that tend to vote Democrat, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

Supporters of the law, though, claim that stringent voter-ID rules were created to prevent voter fraud.

According to WRAL-TV, the new law requires voters to have either a North Carolina driver's license or a special identification card (cards may be expired up to four years for voting purposes), a U.S. passport, U.S. military identification card (as long as it is either not expired or was issued within eight years of the date it is presented), veterans identification card, or a tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe or a tribe recognized by North Carolina.

Some voting rights activists have argued that the new voter-ID laws in North Carolina and other states have been contributing factors in the drop in turnout in Democratic voting in primaries this season, according to The Huffington Post.

Sixteen states are enforcing the voter-ID laws for the first time this year, and half of those have held primaries or caucuses before March 3. The Christian Science Monitor said that Democratic voter turnout has been 285 percent worse in states that recently enforced the new provisions.

Kristin Mavromatis, of the Mecklenburg County's elections board in North Carolina, told the Charlotte Observer on Tuesday that more voters than normal used provisional ballots, many going to out-of-state students who are registered locally but did not have North Carolina driver's licenses as the new law requires.

Bob Hall, executive director of the voter advocacy group Democracy North Carolina, told the newspaper that he has received hundreds of calls about voting problems throughout the state.

"There were places where there were not enough ballots and provisional ballots, places where machines were not working, places where people were told they couldn't use provisional ballots, problems with student IDs," Hall told the Observer.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won the North Carolina primary for the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively, on Tuesday.

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North Carolina is being accused of blocking voters with its voter identification law, which could have prevented residents who are registered to vote but who don't have a government-issued photo ID from hitting the polls Tuesday — an estimated 218,000 people in the state alone.
north carolina, blocking, voters, identification
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2016-16-16
Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016 12:16 PM
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