UNION COUNTY, N.C. — With record early voting in the Carolinas, voter intimidation is a concern for those headed to the polls, and one Union County woman said she experienced it firsthand.
“I just was outraged, I really was,” said Sarah Jerrell.
Jerrell said her outrage came as she went to vote at the fire department on Monroe Rd in Stallings earlier this week.
“There were maybe 100 people in line,” Jerrell said.
Jerrell said as she approached the entrance, a poll worker gave the line an instruction.
“One of the poll workers came out and said, 'have your drivers license ready,' and I was shocked,” Jerrell said.
A driver’s license is not a requirement to vote in North Carolina.
“I said to the people around me, 'you don’t need an ID to vote,'" Jerrell said.
Jerrell believes it could’ve caused someone to leave.
“I saw it as a way to suppress voters because someone who didn't know you didn’t need an ID would be turned away, or would say let me go get something and may not come back," Jerrell said.
“That’s voter intimidation, whether that person intended for it to be or not,” said Kamaria Lawrence with Democracy NC.
Lawrence said the only people who may be asked for an ID are those newly registered voters.
“If you are voting for the first time at your current address, if you have a name change or a political party change,” Lawrence said.
Jerrell says she was surprised to hear a blanket statement calling for ID from a poll worker.
“I'm sure they are trained before they accept that assignment, I'm sure there are certain triggers they're told not to say,” Jerrell said.
The Union County Board of Elections spokesperson Brett Vines says they have not received any complaints about voters being asked to get out IDs, and that their poll workers went through extensive training and know that IDs aren’t required.
Vines said there is a chance Jerrell overheard a poll worker talking to a person registering to vote, but Jerrell said it was said to the entire line.
Lawrence said this is why it is important for all voters to know their rights, and what is and isn't necessary to bring to the polls based on your specific situation.