The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

August 16, 2013

Court to decide fate of election changes

(Continued)

Thursday, August 15, 2013 —

“Requiring photo ID to vote is a huge advantage with this legislation and I, for one, am happy to see it pass. It will help to restore the public’s confidence in the electoral process,” Burr said.

Sen. Gene McLaurin, D-25, voted against the bill despite being in favor of photo identification for voting.

“I support photo IDs, but the bill turned into 49 pages of changes, many of which were not needed. If this bill was straight up and down about voter ID, I would’ve voted for it. But it didn’t do that,” McLaurin said.

Among the additional changes McLaurin referenced are:

  •  Eliminating straight party voting;
  • Reducing the early voting period;
  • Eliminating same day registration;
  • Providing additional registration locations;
  • Eliminating early registration opportunities; and
  • Providing forms for notification of deceased voters.

Kim Wilson, Stanly County elections director, said the most significant change becoming effective this year is the elimination of early registration for 16- and 17-year-olds.

“Voters must be at least 18 or turn 18 before the General Election to be eligible to register,” Wilson said, adding that previously the law allowed for 16-year-olds to pre-register even if they would not be 18 by the next election.

“We saw our largest pre-registrations through the DMV. A lot of times you have a 16-year-old going to get their drivers’ license and they sign up to pre-register,” Wilson said.

The new law does not affect the status of anyone who had pre-registered prior to Monday. Currently there are 363 pre-registrations pending in the county, according to Wilson.

“Their registrations will be processed as normal, but beginning Sept. 1, we will not accept any new pre-registrations,” Wilson said.

Also beginning this year, forms will be made available through area funeral homes for relatives of deceased voters to complete and submit to their local board of elections office.

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