One Cards and other photo IDs issued by UNC System institutions will be acceptable forms of identification for the 2020 elections in North Carolina, State Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell announced Nov. 26.
“I’m pleased to share that the North Carolina State Board of Elections approved our request to allow students, faculty and staff to use their UNC One Cards as voting ID in future elections,” Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said after the announcement. “Carolina is committed to supporting access for our students and employees to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”
Interim UNC System President William Roper issued the following statement about the decision: “I am pleased that student and employee identification cards at each of our 17 institutions have now been approved by the N.C. State Board of Elections. This approval will allow any voting-eligible employee or student to exercise their civic duty. We wish to thank all of those who worked hard for months behind the scenes to make this happen.”
Beginning in 2020, voters in North Carolina will be asked to present photo identification to vote, though certain exceptions apply. Voters may use any acceptable form of ID, including driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, tribal enrollment cards or military and veterans ID cards. Voters who do not have an acceptable ID may get a free North Carolina voter ID from their county board of elections.
Carolina’s original request to allow One Cards as voter IDs was denied by the elections board in March because the University’s process allowed for individual photo upload. The law was rewritten to require a University staff member to obtain and verify the photo without having to take the photograph. The current One Card process complies with the revised requirements, which led to the Nov. 26 approval by the State Board of Elections allowing them to be used as voter IDs.
Next year, UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty and staff may opt to use their UNC One Card as a voter ID. However, starting in 2021, One Cards will need to be stamped with an expiration date to be used as a voter ID. Cards issued starting in July 2020 will have 10-year expiration dates. One Card holders who want to use them as voter IDs will need to get a new card stamped with an expiration date.