In the past week or so, WWAY has received a number of calls and emails from people concerned that poll workers are not checking ID’s during early voting. “This day and age, people are up to no good, so it's kind of scary,” said Olivia Tatum, a concerned voter. When Olivia went to the polls this week, she was shocked when poll workers let her right through, without checking her identification. Tatum said, “I had my wallet ready, I had my ID ready because that's what I thought I would be asked for, but I didn't.” By law, poll workers can not ask for ID. If you registered by the October 10th deadline, the state requires poll workers to only ask you for your name and address. If your registration information comes up on their computers, they will not ask for identification. But there are instances when ID is required. When new voters fill out their application form they have to put their identification on it. Those ID's are then cross checked among different agency's for accuracy. If there is an error, they have to show their ID at the polls. Board of Election officials said this sometimes happens with newly registered voters. Tatum represents several people who have questioned if the states method is safe. State officials say during the 2004 general election, about eighteen people were prosecuted for voter fraud in North Carolina; out of more than 3 million voters. Gary Bartlett, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections said, “We do a very good job in auditing and tracking and investigating. They should rest assure that we are looking after these types of issues.” Board of Elections officials said changing the identification guidelines will have to go through the state legislature. If this law is something you are passionate about, you can contact your elected leaders.
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