Poll worker training for the March primary kicked off last week in Forsyth County, and for seasoned precinct officials, most of the information is familiar. But one element is new for everyone: voter ID. By the end of the month, more than 300 precinct officials will have attended the class, which covers everything from voting machine setup and voter check-in to provisional ballots and photo identification requirements. The class is mandatory for chief judges and judges, the precinct officials who run the polling places on Election Day. In about two and a half hours, Forsyth elections office employees hit the highlights from the State Board of Elections’ voting site guide and the county’s poll worker manual, which contains about 100 pages of instructions and forms.
In a class on Thursday, elections training specialist Tracy Teal, interim elections director Lamar Joyner and IT support technician Chris Duffey explained the basics of Election Day preparation and work to about 30 people. Teal dedicated the final 30 minutes to voter ID procedures.
The March primary is the first time that voters will be asked to show a photo ID at the polls. There are provisions for voters to cast a provisional ballot if they do not have an acceptable ID. “We will not turn anyone away,” Teal told precinct officials.
In 2013, the N.C. General Assembly passed the voter ID requirement, effective 2016. The law has been challenged in court, but a federal judge has not issued a decision yet.