Voting registration ends Feb. 19


Voter Registration Form. Photo by Zane Perkins

 If you have not yet registered to vote it is imperative that you do so by today, Feb. the 19, by 5 p.m. If you do not then you will not be able to vote in the state primaries coming up in March.

Voters are now also required to show ID at the voting place in order to vote. There are several different acceptable forms of ID. NC Driver’s license/permit, NC Identification card, US passport/passport card, Military identification card, veterans Identification card or tribal enrollment card are all acceptable forms of photo ID. Student ID card is not considered a valid ID card.

If for some reasons you cannot obtain an acceptable form of photo ID due to a “reasonable impediment” you may still cast a provisional ballot at the polls. WCU political science professor and  director of the Institute for Public Policy, Dr. Todd Collins, explained in an email message that:  “to qualify for the exception someone will need a good reason for not getting an ID, and bring in other forms to verify who they are (voter registration card, bank statements or bills with current addresses on them, etc.) Those over 70 years old also come under some exceptions.”  

Board of election

Jackson County Board of Elections. Photo by Zane Perkins.

If you are not from the Jackson Country area you will need to fill out an absentee ballot unless you are a college student. College students can vote on campus as long as they register to vote here with their campus address. If you are not a college student you must make sure and mail in your absentee ballot a week before election day for it to count.

Lisa Lovedahl, who works at the Jackson County Board of Elections says “college students can vote on campus. They do not have to do an absentee ballot because of the North Carolina residency law 163-57.”

An issue that has become the topic of conversation lately has been the Connect NC Public Improvement Bond. This Bond will issue two billion dollars to improve state facilities for the University of North Carolina System, the North Carolina Community College System, water and sewer systems, the State’s National Guard, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, attractions and parks and the Department of Public Safety. You will be able to either vote for or against the referendum on the ballot.

Another issue that may affect voting is how the voting machines perform. During the 2012 elections several districts had problems with their machines.

“We have not had that problem in Jackson County,” says Lovedahl. “We have been very proactive and hopefully we will not have those issues. We make sure to always clean the machines and wipe the screens to make sure they are well taken care of.”

The North Carolina Primaries are on March 15. If you wish to vote before that early voting is March 3-12. If you are a student at WCU early voting will be at One-Stop.

Related stories: 

WCJ: What you need to know about voting in North Carolina

The News & Observer: NC Supreme Court retention election law to be overturned

WRAL: GOP proposes major changes to NC congressional map