RALEIGH – North Carolina state lawmakers today approved placing a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that, if passed by voters, will require voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot in future elections. The General Assembly would have the authority to decide which IDs would be allowed and what exceptions, if any, would be granted.

Sarah Gillooly, Director of Political Advocacy and Strategy for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, released the following statement:

There is scant evidence of in-person voter fraud in North Carolina, but there is plenty of evidence that voter ID will limit access to voting for some of the state’s most marginalized voters, including people of color, rural and low-income voters, the elderly, and people with disabilities, all of whom disproportionately lack and face challenges to getting a photo ID. North Carolina lawmakers have an ugly track record of enacting unnecessary and discriminatory voting restrictions, and this time they are passing the buck to voters by asking them to permanently change our state’s constitution in a way that will place hurdles in front of law-abiding North Carolinians, silence people’s voices, and undermine a fundamental right. The General Assembly shouldn’t be given a blank check to turn back the clock on voting rights.”

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly passed voting restrictions, including voter ID, that targeted Black voters “with discriminatory intent” and “almost surgical precision,” according to a 2016 federal appeals court ruling that overturned the law.

The ACLU and other groups had challenged the 2013 law, which also eliminated a week of early voting and ended same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. 

In its audit of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast during the 2016 election, the North Carolina State Board of Elections found only one case of in-person voter fraud. The board found that other ballots cast, but not counted, by ineligible voters were caused by confusion, rather than voter fraud, and recommended voter education as the solution -- not more restrictive laws.