Republican-led legislation could prompt major changes for elections in North Carolina, including shorter early voting periods, elimination of same-day registration and ID requirements at the polls. While bill sponsors believe the changes will save money and prevent voter fraud, elections officials across the state say the measures could lead to longer lines and wait times at the polls. Most discussion has surrounded a proposed voter ID law, introduced by House Republicans last week. The law, which would take effect in 2016, would require voters to show one of eight state-issued forms of photo identification or a tribal ID card. Provisional ballots for those without photo ID on Election Day are allowed but would only be counted if the voter returns to a local election board before results are official, according to the bill. The legislation also includes a provision waiving fees for state-issued IDs for those who sign a statement swearing they don’t have a birth certificate or the means to pay.
… Ruth Huneycutt, director of the Davidson County Board of Elections, said the Voter ID changes could heavily impact voter convenience. “It’s going to create lines, and you’re going to increase the time if it’s handled properly,” Huneycutt said. “If you don’t have photo ID, you’re going to have to do a provisional ballot, and that will take up more space and more time.”
Voter ID requirements aren’t the only changes being proposed. Senate Bills 666 and 667 both recommend eliminating the up-to-$2,500 tax exemption for parents of a dependent child who registers to vote anywhere but at home. Senate Bill 666 also recommends shortening the early voting period by seven days, repealing same-day voter registration and eliminating satellite early voting sites, among other things.