Some voters are getting mixed messages about voter ID rules when they receive registration information from their local county board of elections. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state’s 2013 law that required most voters to show photo identification at the polls. In a subsequent August order, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to put that 4th Circuit order on hold. However, a concerned viewer sent WRAL News pictures of material that was part of a packet sent to a newly registered voter in Alamance County that touted the now defunct ID rules. The packet, postmarked Sept. 2, bears a large box with red type that says, “BEGINNING IN 2016, VOTERS WILL BE ASKED TO SHOW A PHOTO ID WHEN VOTING IN PERSON.” The same card carries instructions for what voters who might not have appropriate IDs should do. In a separate black and white alert box on a different portion of the material, it bears a conflicting message that reads, “ALERT: PHOTO ID NOT REQUIRED TO VOTE.”
Alamance County Board of Elections director Kathy Holland explained that the materials, like new voter cards, are designed by the state and printed in advance by outside vendors.
“I’m not saying it’s not confusing. It is,” Holland said. “We’re doing the best we can administratively.”
Initially, she said, her county tried putting stickers over the red warning message, but the post office objected because it gummed up mail-sorting equipment.