Voters in town and city elections in North Carolina last year had to show a valid ID in order to vote, but the March 2024 Primary Election is the first time that requirement is being implemented in a statewide election.

Though Guilford County Board of Elections staff worked very hard to prepare for the change, there was some concern whether unforeseen issues would arise.

According to Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt, so far so good.

It’s early yet – early voting just opened up – but, he said, no big problems have arisen.

There have been no high-profile incidents of people who, for instance, refuse to show their ID because they don’t like the law, or who forgot to bring an ID and got belligerent with election workers.  Nor have there been many people who arrive at a polling place stating they didn’t know an ID was required this time.

Collicutt said this week that one thing that helped the transition to the new rule is that, in smaller low-key elections in late 2023 around the state, election staff got to implement the procedure. It was something of a blessing to election officials that the requirement was introduced with smaller towns and city elections first – such as the elections in Jamestown and High Point last year.  That gave poll workers a chance to work the kinks out in a calm environment where lines were short.

This primary too, is fairly low key compared to the wild circus of insanity and vitriol that is guaranteed to take place all across the country when droves of voters come out in November for what could be one of the most contentious presidential elections in the history of the country.

So, it’s no doubt a good thing that election workers have this new round of practice before that spectacle.

Last October, Collicutt said one thing that he thought had helped a great deal in the transition was a very active public awareness campaign to get the word out to voters that they now need a valid ID to vote.  He said at that time that the information campaign was targeted toward those cities and towns where the voting was taking place. However, in the lead up to this election, there were a lot of state and local ads, flyers and news stories that informed most everyone in the county of the new law.