RALEIGH (WTVD) --The State Board of Elections is responsible for educating voters on the new voter ID law but Tuesday, the NAACP said the agency has fallen short of that charge.
"Instead of clarity about what the law really says, we have clouded, unclear messages going out over the radio, printed out on these brochures," said NC NAACP head Rev. William Barber.
According to the new law, you can vote without your ID if you vote a provisional ballot, but Barber says the Board of Elections is putting an emphasis on having a photo ID rather than the fact people don't have to have one.
"Through these ads, as in TV or radio," Barber said, "voters are being mistrained or misled. Whatever the reason is, they are not saying clearly, 'You can vote with or without a photo ID.'"
Barber also accused the state of not adequately training election workers.
"We are dealing with a situation where State Board of Elections has failed to train its workers," he said. "Those people at the county level have not been trained. Those people at the polls have not been trained yet to interpret or apply this reasonable impediment exception."
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State Board of Elections Director Kim Strach took exception to the allegation. "Absolutely FALSE," she texted ABC11.
An elections aide sent ABC11 the following background information:
Our voter outreach team has traveled the state spreading the word on voter ID requirements and exceptions. They have presented to literally hundreds of organizations and groups.
We have sent nearly 500,000 mailings to voters and distributed roughly 400,000 flyers and posters across the state.
Strach also sent ABC11 this statement:
"Our message is clear. Every voter will be asked to show an acceptable photo ID at the polls. If you have one, bring it. But if you're unable to obtain one, you can vote by absentee or at the polls with alternative identification. In the coming weeks, every household in the state will receive a mailer describing all your voting options. Keep an eye out for our second commercial that is about to hit the air. Our agency has developed comprehensive training materials to ensure uniformity across the state this election."
NAACP lawyer Irv Joyner said, "We are going out and we are mobilizing people and telling them wherever they are to go to the polls whether you have a picture voter ID or not and demand their right to vote. And we'll have people at the polls to make sure that we investigate any effort by poll workers to keep that from happening."
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