Kat Calvin, the founder of Spread the Vote, launched the effort that is quickly flooding the growing number of states that have added photo ID requirements to vote.
There are 34 states that require some form of identification. Tuesday, North Carolina became the 22nd state to require photo ID.
2015 estimates from the NC State Board of Elections and DMV said 218,000 North Carolinians have no DMV-issued photo ID.
An estimated 218,000 North Carolinians don’t have a DMV-issued photo ID. After Tuesday’s passage of constitutional amendment requiring photo ID to vote, a voter advocacy is group is making it its mission to get people the identification they’ll need. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/Emeclkktee— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) November 9, 2018
"The people it mostly affects are people of color, people with low-income, the elderly, students, etc.," Calvin said. "So it's actually an enormous problem, and people don't really realize how big the numbers are."
Starting in January, Spread the Vote expands to North Carolina. Volunteers will be going to senior-living facilities, homeless shelters, and college campuses -- assigning mentors to help people not just get IDs but also the vital records required to get the ID, such as birth certificates or social security cards.
"IDs are hard to get. I mean they're not free. You can't just walk into the DMV and get an ID," Calvin said. "You have to pay for the ID. You need birth certificates."
Spread the Vote, which is funded by grants and donations said it covers the cost of securing vital records and any costs associated with securing identification.
It’s not just getting a photo ID, for many North Carolinians the problem is getting the documents they need to secure an ID. We’re talking to @SpreadTheVoteUS about new efforts here to help people get the vital records they’ll now need to vote. #ncpol #abc11 pic.twitter.com/4dyPn6uiQd— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) November 9, 2018
"Spread the Vote pays all the costs required to get an ID. We'll pay for documents. We'll pay for the ID itself," Calvin said. "And we pay upfront. It's not reimbursement. So that's not something someone needs to worry about when they work with us."
Spread the Vote is searching for a state director to head up its efforts in North Carolina. It hopes to be up and running here by the new year.
Republican majority leaders in the state House and Senate are now busy crafting what the photo ID requirements will look like. A decision and a vote is expected before the GOP loses its veto-proof majority next year.
"North Carolinians made their preference for voter ID very clear on Tuesday, and we will follow through on that mandate," said Pat Ryan, spokesperson for Senate Leader Phil Berger. "We will spend the coming weeks reviewing legal precedent, both here and around the country, as well as best practices from the 34 other states with voter ID laws."