The director of the state Board of Election Commissioners on Friday filed an emergency statement that he said was inadvertently omitted when the commission previously filed an emergency rule on how absentee ballots should be handled under the state’s new voter ID law. The board adopted an emergency rule Feb. 28 stating that when voters submit absentee ballots that are not accompanied by a form of identification as required under Act 595 of 2013, those ballots should be treated as provisional ballots and the voters should have until noon on the Monday after the election to submit ID and have their ballot counted. Act 595 requires voters to show photo ID at the polls and requires absentee voters to provide a form of identification, not necessarily photo ID. The board adopted the emergency rule after confusion arose as to whether a cure period provided in the law for voters who fail to show photo ID at the polls should apply to absentee voters as well.
Justin Clay, the board’s director, said Friday that when that rule was filed with the secretary of state’s office, it was missing an emergency statement that should have been filed with it.
“That was filed today, making the effective date today,” Clay said. “It was just an omission in our original filing.”
The statement says that the rule should be effective immediately because otherwise “the votes of certain legal absentee voters will not be counted.”