Each post in SCSJ’s “Votes Not Counted” series tells the story of a person qualified to vote before the passage of North Carolina’s Monster Voter Suppression Law, whose ballot was unjustly denied this year. Below is Cherise’s story. If you know another eligible voter whose vote has been denied, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charise Dill is a 25-year-old North Carolina resident who was not able to register to vote because a North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles employee wrongly told her that she needed a North Carolina photo ID to register to vote. When Charise was told that she should have been able to register to vote without a North Carolina photo ID, she was upset. It was too late to fix the DMV worker’s mistake. That mistake would have been fixable had the North Carolina General Assembly not eliminated same day registration. Because of that new law, Charise was disenfranchised.
Charise was a registered voter in South Carolina and moved from South Carolina to Hendersonville, North Carolina in May 2013. She was excited about moving to North Carolina because she felt like she would have a voice in North Carolina elections. She wants her voice to be heard. In September 2014, she visited the Henderson County DMV Driver’s License Office (Baystone Drive location) to get her NC driver’s license and to register to vote. Charise wasn’t able to get her driver’s license that day, but she asked if she could register to vote. The DMV employee told Charise that she would not be able to register to vote because she did not have a North Carolina photo ID. Unfortunately, this DMV employee was incorrect as North Carolina photo identification is not required when completing a North Carolina Voter Registration Application. Relying on this state official’s advice, Charise left the NC DMV without registering to vote.
On October 30, 2014, Charise discovered that a North Carolina resident does not need a North Carolina photo ID to register to vote. However, due to H.B. 589’s elimination of same day registration, Charise’s voice won’t be heard in this election. Charise is not alone in her story of disenfranchisement. The elimination of same day registration is preventing many North Carolinians from having the opportunity to cast a ballot for the candidates of their choice. Charise wanted to share her story so others could see how these voter-suppression laws prevent real people from voting. Charise should have the opportunity to vote in this election; it is not her fault the State of North Carolina gave her misinformation.
Written By Southern Coalition for Social Justice
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