Modifications to the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA)

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by Ron Katz
Community Fund Director

While the Voter Information Verification Act passed by the NC General Assembly and signed by the Governor in 2013 requires a state-approved photo ID, some modifications were made to the law this past June. There is still a lawsuit pending, no decision has been issued yet, but please note:

  • If the law is not changed, the first time you will need to bring a photo ID to vote is for the elections in 2016.  It will not affect any elections this year.
  • The modifications allow people a whole host of reasons that can be used to allow them to vote should they have impediments to obtaining a photo ID. 

Stay tuned for the court decision on the status of the law. United Way will have that information on our Voting page.

Modifications to the Voter Information Verification Act (VIVA)
HB 836, passed 6/22/15

In a surprise move, voter identification provisions were added to the bill while in the conference committee. HB 836 will allow voters without photo identification to vote by provisional ballot if they attest to a reasonable impediment and present identification through a HAVA document (documents currently accepted to register to vote), a voter registration card, or by providing the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number and date of birth. Reasonable impediments to obtaining photo identification include:

  • Lack of transportation;
  • Disability or illness;
  • Lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain photo identification;  
  • Work schedule;
  • Family responsibilities;  
  • Lost or stolen photo identification;  
  • Photo identification applied for but not received by the voter voting in person; or
  • Other reasonable impediment.  

A driver’s license that has expired within the last four years will also now be an acceptable form of identification, along with a license that expired any time after an individual’s 70th birthday. It was signed by the Governor June 22 and is S.L. 2015-103.

Summary provided by Annaliese Dolph, United Way of North Carolina lobbyist

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