Election changes, deadlines to remember - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Election changes, deadlines to remember

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Friday is the last day to register to vote in the May 6, 2014 primary election and New Hanover County Board of Elections Director, Marvin McFadyen is sharing some election changes and information to keep on your radar.

House Bill 589, will require voters to show photo identification when they go to the polls starting in 2016. It also makes dozens of other changes to how the state conducts elections, which will start taking effect this year and beyond.

Voter ID

Photo ID requirements will not be in effect until the 2016 elections. However, both the state and local boards of elections will begin publicizing the new requirement this year.   Starting in 2016, most voters will have to show an acceptable photo ID when they go to the polls. Acceptable forms of ID will be:

•North Carolina driver's license

•North Carolina special identification card

•U.S. passport

•U.S. military identification card, as long as it is either not expired or was issued within eight years of the date it is presented.

•Veterans identification card, as long as it is either not expired or was issued within eight years of the date it is presented.

•A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe or a tribe recognized by North Carolina. The card must either have not expired or have been issued within eight years of the date it is presented.

•A driver's license or special identification card issued by another state, the District of Columbia or a territory of the United States if the voter registered 90 days or fewer before the election.

•For voters over the age of 70: Any of the other acceptable forms of identification, even if expired, as long as the ID was current as of the voter's 70th birthday.

In 2014, voters casting ballots in person during the primary and general election will be reminded of the photo ID requirements coming in 2016 and the fact that free identification cards are available.

Free IDs: Part of the voter ID program requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue a special identification card free of charge to individuals who sign a declaration saying they don't have an alternate form of photo ID acceptable at the polls. The state vital records office and county registers of deeds will also be required to provide free copies of an individual's birth certificate and marriage certificate to those who need them to complete the application for special identification cards.


Candidate Filings – Primary Ballots



Thom Tillis

Al (Big Al) Novinec

Jim Snyder

Walter Jones

Edward Kryn

Taylor Griffin

Mark Harris


Heather Grant

Woody White

Alex Lee Bradshaw

David Rouzer

Greg Brannon

Chris Andrade

Ted Alexander


Walter A. Martin, Jr.


Will Stewart

Jonathan Barfield, Jr.

Ernest T. Reeves


Ernie Ward

Kay Hagan

Danny Hefner


Sean Haugh


Justin LaNasa

Tim D'Annunzio

Michael Lee

Michael T. Burns



Skip Watkins

Bruce Shell

Hank Thomas

Don Hayes

Frank Roberts

Ed Higgins

Ricky Meeks

Janice Cavenaugh

Chuck Kays

Jim Brumit

Charles D. Kuebler


Derrick Hickey

Jason Vaughn

John Dismukes

Marc Benson

Campbell Dodd


Dave Conklin

Ed McMahon

Sid Causey


Eric Levinson

Robin Hudson

Jeanette Doran


Mail-in Absentee Voting

Voters or their near relatives must make a request on a form to be generated by the State Board of Elections. That form will require:

•The voter's name and address.

•If someone other than the voter is requesting the ballot, the name and address of that near relative or legal guardian.

•The address to which the ballot should be mailed, if different from the voter's residential address.

•The voter's date of birth.

•The voter's driver's license number, special ID card number or last four digits of his or her Social Security number. If the voter doesn't have any of those numbers, he or she may include documents such as bank statements, pay stubs or utility bills with the request.

•The signature of the person requesting the application.

To complete the ballot, voters will be required to complete the absentee ballot "in the presence of two voters who are at least 18 and not a candidate or employee of certain adult care homes," Both individuals must sign as witnesses. In lieu of two witnesses, the voter could have the ballot notarized.

Multi-partisan Assistance Teams (MAT's) help residents of hospitals, nursing homes and other group facilities who do not have close relatives or legal guardians who can help them fill out the ballot.

Registration Deadline

Pre-registration ended: Under old  law, 16- and 17-year-olds could pre-register to vote so their names will automatically be placed on the voter rolls when they turn 18. The bill eliminates that pre-registration system, as well as a young-voter outreach program for high schools that had been attached to it. Effective September 2013

SAME-DAY REGISTRATION is no longer permitted during One-Stop voting.

One-Stop absentee voting

The measure shortens the early voting window to 10 days, from the second Thursday before the election to no later than 1 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day. However, the bill requires counties to "offer the same number of early voting hours in presidential elections as were available in 2012 and an equal number of early voting hours in midterm elections as were offered in 2010."

In short, there will be fewer days on which to cast an early ballot, but there could be additional polling places opened – or existing polling places could be open longer – to offset the loss of days.

Election Day

Changes at the polls

Starting in 2014, voters will notice a number of changes when they cast their ballots.  For most, the changes will be less noticeable:

Wrong precinct: Prior to 2014, voters who showed up to the wrong precinct on Election Day to vote were permitted to vote a provisional ballot. Their choices for statewide and countywide offices would count, although their choices for district races in which they were not qualified to vote would be thrown out.  For whatever reason a voter might need to vote provisionally, they must be in the assigned Precinct for their current address in order for a provisional ballot to be considered.

Poll observers: The law allows county party chairmen to appoint 10 at-large election observers for each polling place in addition to two observers per polling place already allowed by law.

Voter challenges: On Election Day, a voter may challenge the right of another person to vote if they are from the same county. Prior to 2014, those challenges have had to come from someone registered in the same voting precinct. Reasons for challenging a vote can include a number of grounds, including that the person does not live at the address reflected on his or her voter registration, that he or she has already voted or, in the case of a partisan primary, that he or she belongs to another party.

Moving forward – General Elections

No straight ticket: In general elections, straight ticket voting allowed voters to mark a single space and support all the candidates of one party listed on the ballot. The straight ticket option did not select a candidate for president, nor does it select candidates in nonpartisan races, such as contests for judge. Beginning with the General Election in November, straight ticket voting will no longer be an option.

Presidential primaries: North Carolina has always held the presidential preference primary in May, along with primaries for most other offices. In 2016, North Carolina will hold its presidential primaries – and only its presidential primaries – earlier in the year if South Carolina chooses to hold its presidential primary before March 15. The law requires North Carolina to hold both the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries "on the Tuesday after the first South Carolina presidential primary that year." South Carolina has held its Republican and Democratic primaries on different dates.

Paper ballots: Currently, the state uses two types of voting systems: computerized touch-screen machines and paper ballots on which the voter fills in a small oval to mark candidate choices. In 2018, those computerized touch-screen machines will be outlawed because only systems that "generate a paper ballot or a paper record by which voters may verify their votes before casting them" will be allowed.

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