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Voter ID requirement not causing issues in North Carolina

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(The Center Square) – Requiring photo identification to cast ballots in North Carolina elections has had little impact as measured by provisional ballots in the early in-person and mail-in absentee voting.

Speaking just before lunchtime Tuesday, Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell of the state Board of Elections said 216 people cast provisionals due to the voter ID law. More than 690,000 voters had marked ballots, creating a ratio of about 3 in 10,000.

Through more than four hours of voting Tuesday, Bell said there were no incidents reported on Primary Election Day.

Bell called it a “small” number of voters to have problems with the law. North Carolina voters approved voter identification at the polls in 2018 through a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. In those midterms, 55.49% of nearly 3.7 million votes were in favor.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper tried to block the will of millions of voters by initiating litigation to block implementation. It was last April when the state Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, issued an opinion that reversed an earlier choice by the same bench with a different makeup of justices.

Even still, there is litigation in a federal courtroom of Judge Lorette Biggs in the U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem. Biggs has set a May 6 nonjury trial, a date that is less than a week from the potential runoff date for Tuesday’s primaries.

Voters have many races to decide this election cycle, a large majority of which will have primaries. By November, decisions will be reached on the president; 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives; the state’s governor and nine other Council of State seats; and several down-ballot races.

The threshold to avoid runoffs and a second primary on May 14 in 10 weeks is win Tuesday with 30% plus one vote. Short of that, the runner-up can request a runoff.

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