Voter ID speaker teaches residents their rights

Voter ID speaker teaches residents their rights
Residents in Brunswick County gathered to hear about their voting rights regarding the voter identification laws. (Source: WECT)
Residents in Brunswick County gathered to hear about their voting rights regarding the voter identification laws. (Source: WECT)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Residents of Brunswick County met tonight to learn about the changes made regarding the voter identification rules.

Brunswick Housing Opportunities hosted Dr. Lee Cooley, a voter outreach specialist who works for the North Carolina Board of Elections, to teach residents what to do at the polls if they don't have an ID.

Cooley encouraged those in attendance to not be discouraged and to show up. She promised no one would be turned away.

As long as you are a registered voter and eligible to vote, your ballot will count.

"We don't want anyone to stay home because they don't have a voter ID because everybody will be allowed to vote. You'll get a provisional ballot, but it will be validated, and it will count as long as you are a registered voter," said Cooley.

She encouraged residents to go to early voting to get all of their information squared away.

If you don't have an ID, a HAVA document will work. This can be something like a utility bill, your voter registration card, or a bank statement.

That, however, isn't your only option.

"Even if they don't have a document with that information on it. As long as they know those last four digits (of their social security number), and they know their date of birth, they can state that information, and they will receive a provisional ballot, and it will count," Cooley explained.

Cooley's advice encouraged residents at the event not to be pushed around by people at the polling sites. One resident said it's important to know your rights before you vote.

"When you think you know everything about the law, then you really don't. And when you get there and to have that happen to you would not be good because then you won't know your outlet," said Acquinetta Beatty, a Brunswick County citizen. "Because this information would help you to know that they can't do this to me. If I don't have an ID, I'm still able to vote."

Beatty said she would encourage everyone to vote because it's your chance to have a voice.

"It's important that we vote for people who have the same values as we do, and that they are open to the things that we want to happen in our communities because many times things get overlooked because their values aren't the same as ours," Beatty said in regard to getting people out to the polls.

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