A recent report by Democracy North Carolina shows that confusion surrounding new photo ID laws impacted voters in 2023. Now, officials and advocacy groups are working to better educate the public ahead of the primary election.

Voters in North Carolina are required to show photo identification after recent election law changes went into effect last year. This can include a driver's license, university ID, or a passport card.

A report by Democracy North Carolina says misunderstandings of the new law led to disenfranchisement for some in 2023. The nonpartisan organization uses research and advocacy to increase participation in elections.

Development Director Shannon Heck says the group advocated for years that photo ID wasn't needed because the state's elections didn't see widespread fraud.

"However, once we saw that it was going to be the law of the land then we got busy just as quickly as we could to be very specific about what folks needed to do to be prepared," Heck says.

She says they've put together educational materials for the public and have a hotline to answer questions.

In Forsyth County, there have been no major problems during early voting so far this year, according to Elections Director Tim Tsujii.

"With it being a primary election in an even-numbered year cycle, we've yet to experience any major issues or challenges with any of the law changes," he says.

Tsujii says voter ID seminars were held for precinct officials and the larger public to educate them on the changes.

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