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What to expect from North Carolina Republicans when it comes to the new voter ID bill

Next week legislators will return to the North Carolina General Assembly for a legislative session to pass the details of the voter ID constitutional amendment, among other things. Based on the 2013 “monster” voter ID bill that was struck down by the courts for “targeting African-Americans with almost surgical precision,” we have a few ideas about what to expect in the new voter ID law.

College IDs won’t be acceptable forms of photo ID.Lawmakers will decide what specific types of IDs the state will accept at the polls. In 2013, Republicans voted against an amendment that would have allowed college students to use their student IDs to vote. Conservative blog Civitas claims that “while it may seem harmless, student IDs fail to provide needed information.”

Those who are unable to present a photo ID when voting won’t be able to cast a provisional ballot. In 2013, Republicans voted against an amendment that would have allowed people without IDs to cast provisional ballots and then present their ID to Elections Board at canvass. This would have allowed more leeway for people who may have lost or temporarily misplaced their IDs, people who are waiting on the DMV to send their photo ID after renewing it, or people who don’t have their photo IDs on hand for a number of other reasons. 

The photo ID law will not apply to mail-in absentee voting. In 2013 Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) proposed an amendment to have the same voter ID legislation apply to mail-in absentee voting claiming it’s more likely to cast a fraudulent vote by mail than in-person. The amendment failed. 

After Republicans passed what was deemed the worst voter suppression law in the country in 2013, it’s important to keep a close eye on what they’ll try to include in their voter ID law next week.