State board of elections public hearing draws 75 people in Sylva

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, June 18, 2015

The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Thursday, June 11 at the Jackson County Board of Elections Office hosted one of nine public hearings on the proposed rules for the implementation of voter ID requirements that takes effect in 2016.  The public hearings are listening opportunities for the agency to receive comment on the proposed rules.

Polk County Board of Elections Director Karen Lawrence was in attendance at the hearing in Sylva and there were about 75 people in attendance from the surrounding counties in District 1. People in attendance were making comments on the rules set forth by the NC State Board of Elections to implement S.L. 2013-381 (Voter Information Verification Act) or what most people know as the new Voter ID Law.

There were members of the NAACP, the Tea Party, NC Democracy, poll workers and attorneys, as well as concerned citizens in attendance voicing their likes or concerns over the proposed rules.

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More than 35 people spoke to the panel, which was there to collect data on the new rules that county boards of elections will have to implement as of Jan. 1, 2016 when a voter presents to vote.

All future hearings are open to the public.  Those interested in providing comments are invited to attend hearings or to submit written comments to the State Board of Elections via email ( or mail  (PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255, to the attention of Rule-making Coordinator).

The public comment period closes June 30. For more information on photo ID required to vote at the polls in 2016, visit

The state board’s voter outreach team is available to make informational presentations and to assist voters in obtaining a free ID from the DMV. They can be reached at 1-866-522-4723 or


–Submitted by Karen Lawrence, Director of Elections