Article 7A.

Registration of Voters.

163-82.1. General principles of voter registration.

(a) Prerequisite to Voting. - No person shall be permitted to vote who has not been registered under the provisions of this Article or registered as previously provided by law.

(b) County Board's Duty to Register. - A county board of elections shall register, in accordance with this Article, every person qualified to vote in that county who makes an application in accordance with this Article.

(c) Permanent Registration. - Every person registered to vote by a county board of elections in accordance with this Article shall remain registered until:

(1) The registrant requests in writing to the county board of elections to be removed from the list of registered voters; or

(2) The registrant becomes disqualified through death, conviction of a felony, or removal out of the county; or

(3) The county board of elections determines, through the procedure outlined in G.S. 163-82.14, that it can no longer confirm where the voter resides.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(a), effective September 1, 2013. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 25; 1975, c. 395; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s. 1; c. 308, s. 1; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 7(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(a).)

 

163-82.2. Chief State Election Official.

The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections is the "Chief State Election Official" of North Carolina for purposes of P.L. 103-31, The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, subsequently referred to in this Article as the "National Voter Registration Act". As such the Executive Director is responsible for coordination of State responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 11.)

 

163-82.3. Voter registration application forms.

(a) Form Developed by State Board of Elections. - The State Board of Elections shall develop an application form for voter registration. Any person may use the form to apply to do any of the following:

(1) Register to vote.

(2) Change party affiliation or unaffiliated status.

(3) Report a change of address within a county.

(4) Report a change of name.

(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(b), effective September 1, 2013.

The county board of elections for the county where the applicant resides shall accept the form as application for any of those purposes if the form is submitted as set out in G.S. 163-82.3.

(b) Interstate Form. - The county board of elections where an applicant resides shall accept as application for any of the purposes set out in subsection (a) of this section the interstate registration form designed by the Federal Election Commission pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act, if the interstate form is submitted in accordance with G.S. 163-82.6.

(c) Agency Application Form. - The county board of elections where an applicant resides shall accept as application for any of the purposes set out in subsection (a) of this section a form developed pursuant to G.S. 163-82.19 or G.S. 163-82.20. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 8(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(b).)

 

163-82.4. Contents of application form.

(a) Information Requested of Applicant. - The form required by G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall request the applicant's:

(1) Name,

(2) Date of birth,

(3) Residence address,

(4) County of residence,

(5) Date of application,

(6) Gender,

(7) Race,

(7a) Ethnicity,

(8) Political party affiliation, if any, in accordance with subsection (c) of this section,

(9) Telephone number (to assist the county board of elections in contacting the voter if needed in processing the application),

(10) Drivers license number or, if the applicant does not have a drivers license number, the last four digits of the applicant's social security number,

and any other information the State Board finds is necessary to enable officials of the county where the person resides to satisfactorily process the application. The form shall require the applicant to state whether currently registered to vote anywhere, and at what address, so that any prior registration can be cancelled. The portions of the form concerning race and ethnicity shall include as a choice any category shown by the most recent decennial federal census to compose at least one percent (1%) of the total population of North Carolina. The county board shall make a diligent effort to complete for the registration records any information requested on the form that the applicant does not complete, but no application shall be denied because an applicant does not state race, ethnicity, gender, or telephone number. The application shall conspicuously state that provision of the applicant's telephone number is optional. If the county board maintains voter records on computer, the free list provided under this subsection shall include telephone numbers if the county board enters the telephone number into its computer records of voters.

(a1) No Drivers License or Social Security Number Issued. - The State Board shall assign a unique identifier number to an applicant for voter registration if the applicant has not been issued either a current and valid drivers license or a social security number. That unique identifier number shall serve to identify that applicant for voter registration purposes.

(b) Notice of Requirements, Attestation, Notice of Penalty, and Notice of Confidentiality. - The form required by G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall contain, in uniform type, the following:

(1) A statement that specifies each eligibility requirement (including citizenship) and an attestation that the applicant meets each such requirement, with a requirement for the signature of the applicant, under penalty of a Class I felony under G.S. 163-275(13).

(2) A statement that, if the applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.

(3) A statement that, if the applicant does register to vote, the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.

(c) Party Affiliation or Unaffiliated Status. - The application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall provide a place for the applicant to state a preference to be affiliated with one of the political parties in G.S. 163-96, or a preference to be an "unaffiliated" voter. Every person who applies to register shall state his preference. If the applicant fails to declare a preference for a party or for unaffiliated status, that person shall be listed as "unaffiliated", except that if the person is already registered to vote in the county and that person's registration already contains a party affiliation, the county board shall not change the registrant's status to "unaffiliated" unless the registrant clearly indicates a desire in accordance with G.S. 163-82.17 for such a change. An unaffiliated registrant shall not be eligible to vote in any political party primary, except as provided in G.S. 163-119, but may vote in any other primary or general election. The application form shall so state.

(d) Citizenship and Age Questions. - Voter registration application forms shall include all of the following:

(1) The following question and statement:

a. "Are you a citizen of the United States of America?" and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.

b. "If you checked 'no' in response to this question, do not submit this form."

(2) The following question and statement:

a. "Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?" and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant will be 18 years of age or older on election day.

b. Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(c), effective September 1, 2013.

c. "If you checked 'no' in response to this question, do not submit this form."

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2009-541, s. 9(a), effective January 1, 2010.

(e) Correcting Registration Forms. - If the voter fails to complete any required item on the voter registration form but provides enough information on the form to enable the county board of elections to identify and contact the voter, the voter shall be notified of the omission and given the opportunity to complete the form at least by 5:00 P.M. on the day before the county canvass as set in G.S. 163-182.5(b). If the voter corrects that omission within that time and is determined by the county board of elections to be eligible to vote, the board shall permit the voter to vote. If the information is not corrected by election day, the voter shall be allowed to vote a provisional official ballot. If the correct information is provided to the county board of elections by at least 5:00 P.M. on the day before the county canvass, the board shall count any portion of the provisional official ballot that the voter is eligible to vote. (1901, c. 89, s. 12; Rev., s. 4319; C.S., s. 5940; Ex. Sess. 1920, c. 93; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1951, c. 984, s. 1; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; c. 871, s. 2; 1957, c. 784, s. 2; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1166, s. 6; 1973, c. 793, s. 27; c. 1223, s. 3; 1975, c. 234, s. 2; 1979, c. 135, s. 1; c. 539, ss. 1-3; c. 797, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 222; c. 308, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1999-424, s. 7(c), (d); 1999-453, s. 8(a); 2003-226, s. 9; 2004-127, s. 4; 2005-428, s. 15; 2007-391, s. 20; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 9(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(c).)

 

163-82.5. Distribution of application forms.

The State Board of Elections shall make the forms described in G.S. 163-82.3 available for distribution through governmental and private entities, with particular emphasis on making them available for organized voter registration drives. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.)

 

163-82.6. Acceptance of application forms.

(a) How the Form May Be Submitted. - The county board of elections shall accept any form described in G.S. 163-82.3 if the applicant submits the form by mail, facsimile transmission, transmission of a scanned document, or in person. The applicant may delegate the submission of the form to another person. Any person who communicates to an applicant acceptance of that delegation shall deliver that form so that it is received by the appropriate county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to communicate to the applicant acceptance of that delegation and then fail to make a good faith effort to deliver the form so that it is received by the county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of failing to make a good faith effort to deliver a delegated form by the registration deadline that the delegatee informed the applicant that the form would not likely be delivered in time for the applicant to vote in the next election. It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or to condition its delivery upon payment.

(a1) Misdemeanors. - It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to do any of the following:

(1) To communicate to the applicant acceptance of the delegation described in subsection (a) of this section and then fail to make a good faith effort to deliver the form so that it is received by the county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of failing to make a good faith effort to deliver a delegated form by the registration deadline that the delegatee informed the applicant that the form would not likely be delivered in time for the applicant to vote in the next election.

(2) To sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or to condition its delivery upon payment.

(3) To change a person's information on a voter registration form prior to its delivery to a county board of elections.

(4) To coerce a person into marking a party affiliation other than the party affiliation the person desires.

(5) To offer a person a voter registration form that has a party affiliation premarked unless the person receiving the form has requested the premarking.

(b) Signature. - The form shall be valid only if signed by the applicant. An electronically captured signature, including signatures on applications generated by computer programs of third-party groups, shall not be valid on a voter registration form, except as provided in Article 21A of this Chapter. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an electronically captured image of the signature of a voter on an electronic voter registration form offered by a State agency shall be considered a valid signature for all purposes for which a signature on a paper voter registration form is used.

(c) Registration Deadlines for a Primary or Election. - In order to be valid for a primary or election, the form:

(1) If submitted by mail, must be postmarked at least 25 days before the primary or election, except that any mailed application on which the postmark is missing or unclear is validly submitted if received in the mail not later than 20 days before the primary or election,

(2) If submitted in person, by facsimile transmission, or by transmission of a scanned document, must be received by the county board of elections by a time established by that board, but no earlier than 5:00 P.M., on the twenty-fifth day before the primary or election,

(3) If submitted through a delegatee who violates the duty set forth in subsection (a) of this section, must be signed by the applicant and given to the delegatee not later than 25 days before the primary or election, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(c1) If the application is submitted by facsimile transmission or transmission of a scanned document, a permanent copy of the completed, signed form shall be delivered to the county board no later than 20 days before the election.

(d) Instances When Person May Register and Vote on Primary or Election Day. - If a person has become qualified to register and vote between the twenty-fifth day before a primary or election and primary or election day, then that person may apply to register on primary or election day by submitting an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b) to:

(1) A member of the county board of elections;

(2) The county director of elections; or

(3) The chief judge or a judge of the precinct in which the person is eligible to vote,

and, if the application is approved, that person may vote the same day. The official in subdivisions (1) through (3) of this subsection to whom the application is submitted shall decide whether the applicant is eligible to vote. The applicant shall present to the official written or documentary evidence that the applicant is the person he represents himself to be. The official, if in doubt as to the right of the applicant to register, may require other evidence satisfactory to that official as to the applicant's qualifications. If the official determines that the person is eligible, the person shall be permitted to vote in the primary or election and the county board shall add the person's name to the list of registered voters. If the official denies the application, the person shall be permitted to vote a challenged ballot under the provisions of G.S. 163-88.1, and may appeal the denial to the full county board of elections. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the county boards of elections to follow in hearing appeals for denial of primary or election day applications to register. No person shall be permitted to register on the day of a second primary unless he shall have become qualified to register and vote between the date of the first primary and the date of the succeeding second primary.

(e) For purposes of subsection (d) of this section, persons who "become qualified to register and vote" during a time period:

(1) Include those who during that time period are naturalized as citizens of the United States or who are restored to citizenship after a conviction of a felony; but

(2) Do not include persons who reach the age of 18 during that time period, if those persons were eligible to register while 17 years old during an earlier period.

(f) The county board of elections shall forward by electronic means any application submitted for the purpose of preregistration to the State Board of Elections. No later than 60 days prior to the first election in which the applicant will be legally entitled to vote, the State Board of Elections shall notify the appropriate county board of elections to verify the qualifications and address of the applicant in accordance with G.S. 163-82.7. (1901, c. 89, ss. 18, 21; Rev., ss. 4322, 4323; C.S., ss. 5946, 5947; 1923, c. 111, s. 3; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1947, c. 475; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 784, ss., 3, 4; 1961, c. 382; 1963, c. 303, ss. 1, 2; 1967, c. 761, s. 3; c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 750, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 5; c. 766, s., 2; 1981, c. 33, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 6; 1983, c. 553; 1985, c. 260, s. 1; 1991, c. 363, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1997-456, s. 27; 1999-426, s. 1(a), (b); 2001-315, s. 1; 2001-319, s. 6(a); 2003-226, s. 4; 2004-127, s. 9(a); 2007-253, s. 2; 2007-391, s. 16(a); 2008-150, s. 5(d), (e); 2009-541, s. 10(a); 2013-381, ss. 13.1, 16.3.)

 

163-82.6A. Address and name changes at one-stop sites.

(a) through (d) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 16.1, effective January 1, 2014.

(e) Change of Registration at One-Stop Voting Site. - A person who is already registered to vote in the county may update the information in the registration record in accordance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Elections, but an individual's party affiliation may not be changed during the one-stop voting period before any first or second partisan primary in which the individual is eligible to vote.

(f) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 16.1, effective January 1, 2014. (2007-253, s. 1; 2009-541, s. 11; 2013-381, ss. 16.1, 16.1A.)

 

163-82.7. Verification of qualifications and address of applicant; denial or approval of application.

(a) Tentative Determination of Qualification. - When a county board of elections receives an application for registration submitted pursuant to G.S. 163-82.6, the board either:

(1) Shall make a determination that the applicant is not qualified to vote at the address given, or

(2) Shall make a tentative determination that the applicant is qualified to vote at the address given, subject to the mail verification notice procedure outlined in subsection (c) of this section

within a reasonable time after receiving the application.

(b) Denial of Registration. - If the county board of elections makes a determination pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that the applicant is not qualified to vote at the address given, the board shall send, by certified mail, a notice of denial of registration. The notice of denial shall contain the date on which registration was denied, and shall be mailed within two business days after denial. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant of alternatives that the applicant may pursue to exercise the franchise. If the applicant disagrees with the denial, the applicant may appeal the decision under G.S. 163-82.18.

(c) Verification of Address by Mail. - If the county board of elections tentatively determines that the applicant is qualified to vote at the address given, then the county board shall send a notice to the applicant, by nonforwardable mail, at the address the applicant provides on the application form. The notice shall state that the county will register the applicant to vote if the Postal Service does not return the notice as undeliverable to the county board. The notice shall also inform the applicant of the precinct and voting place to which the applicant will be assigned if registered.

(d) Approval of Application. - If the Postal Service does not return the notice as undeliverable, the county board shall register the applicant to vote.

(e) Second Notice if First Notice Is Returned as Undeliverable. - If the Postal Service returns the notice as undeliverable, the county board shall send a second notice by nonforwardable mail to the same address to which the first was sent. If the second notice is not returned as undeliverable, the county board shall register the applicant to vote.

(f) Denial of Application Based on Lack of Verification of Address. - If the Postal Service returns as undeliverable the notice sent by nonforwardable mail pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, the county board shall deny the application. The county board need not try to notify the applicant further.

(g) Voting When Verification Process Is Incomplete. - In cases where an election occurs before the process of verification outlined in this section has had time to be completed, the county board of elections shall be guided by the following rules:

(1) If the county board has made a tentative determination that an applicant is qualified to vote under subsection (a) of this section, then that person shall not be denied the right to vote in person in an election unless the Postal Service has returned as undeliverable two notices to the applicant: one mailed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and one mailed pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. This subdivision does not preclude a challenge to the voter's qualifications under Article 8 of this Chapter.

(2) If the Postal Service has returned as undeliverable a notice sent within 25 days before the election to the applicant under subsection (c) of this section, then the applicant may vote only in person in that first election and may not vote by absentee ballot except in person under G.S. 163-227.2. The county board of elections shall establish a procedure at the voting site for:

a. Obtaining the correct address of any person described in this subdivision who appears to vote in person; and

b. Assuring that the person votes in the proper place and in the proper contests.

If a notice mailed under subsection (c) or subsection (e) of this section is returned as undeliverable after a person has already voted by absentee ballot, then that person's ballot may be challenged in accordance with G.S. 163-89.

(3) If a notice sent pursuant to subsection (c) or (e) of this section is returned by the Postal Service as undeliverable after a person has already voted in an election, then the county board shall treat the person as a registered voter but shall send a confirmation mailing pursuant to G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2) and remove or retain the person on the registration records in accordance with that subdivision. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1999-455, s. 16.)

 

163-82.7A. Declaration of religious objection to photograph.

(a) At the time of approval of the application to register to vote, a voter with a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed may execute a declaration before an election official to that effect to be incorporated as part of the official record of voter registration.

(b) At any time after the voter has registered to vote that the voter has determined the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may execute a declaration before an election official to be incorporated as part of the official record of that voter's voter registration.

(c) At any time after a voter has executed a declaration before an election official under this section and that voter no longer has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may request the cancellation of the declaration in writing to the county board.

(d) All declarations under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall include a statement by the voter that the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed and a requirement for the signature of the voter, which includes a notice that a false or fraudulent declaration is a Class I felony pursuant to G.S. 163-275(13).

(e) The State Board shall adopt rules to establish a standard form for the administration of this section. (2013-381, s. 2.3.)

 

163-82.8. Voter registration cards.

(a) Authority to Issue Card. - With the approval of the board of county commissioners, the county board of elections may issue to each voter in the county a voter registration card, or may issue cards to all voters registered after January 1, 1995.

(b) Content and Format of Card. - At a minimum, the voter registration card shall:

(1) List the voter's name, address, and voting place;

(2) Contain the address and telephone number of the county board of elections, along with blanks to report a change of address within the county, change of name, and change of party affiliation; and

(3) Be wallet size.

No voter registration card may be issued by a county board of elections unless the State Board of Elections has approved the format of the card.

(c) Ways County Board and Registrant May Use Card. - If the county board of elections issues voter registration cards, the county board may use that card as a notice of tentative approval of the voter's application pursuant to G.S. 163-82.7(c), provided that the mailing contains the statements and information required in that subsection. The county board may also satisfy the requirements of G.S. 163-82.15(b), 163-82.16(b), or 163-82.17(b) by sending the registrant a replacement of the voter registration card to verify change of address, change of name, or change of party affiliation. A registrant may use the card to report a change of address, change of name, or change of party affiliation, satisfying G.S. 163-82.15, 163-82.16, or 163-82.17.

(d) Card as Evidence of Registration. - A voter registration card shall be evidence of registration but shall not preclude a challenge as permitted by law.

(e) Display of Card May Not Be Required to Vote. - No county board of elections may require that a voter registration card be displayed in order to vote. A county board of elections may notify a voter that the voter's registration card may be used for the required identification in conjunction with a reasonable impediment declaration in accordance with G.S. 163-166.15. (1901, c. 89, ss. 18, 21; Rev., ss. 4322, 4323; C.S., ss. 5946, 5947; 1923, c. 111, s. 3; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1947, c. 475; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 784, ss. 3, 4; 1961, c. 382; 1963, c. 303, ss. 1, 2; 1967, c. 761, s. 3; c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 750, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 5; c. 766, s. 2; 1981, c. 33, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 6; 1983, c. 553; 1985, c. 260, s. 1; 1991, c. 363, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2015-103, s. 8(f).)

 

163-82.9. Cancellation of prior registration.

If an applicant indicates on an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3 a current registration to vote in any other county, municipality, or state, the county board of elections, upon registering the person to vote, shall send a notice to the appropriate officials in the other county, municipality, or state and shall ask them to cancel the person's voter registration there. If an applicant completes an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3 except that the applicant neglects to complete the portion of the form that authorizes cancellation of previous registration in another county, the State Board of Elections shall notify the county board of elections in the previous county of the new registration, and the board in the previous county shall cancel the registration. The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules to prevent disenfranchisement in the implementation of this section. Those rules shall include adequate notice to the person whose previous registration is to be cancelled. (1973, c. 793, s. 28; c. 1223, s. 4; 1977, c. 265, s. 3; 1983, c. 411, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 509, s. 115; 2005-428, s. 9.)

 

163-82.10. Official record of voter registration.

(a) Official Record. - The State voter registration system is the official voter registration list for the conduct of all elections in the State. The State Board of Elections and the county board of elections may keep copies of voter registration data, including voter registration applications, in any medium and format expressly approved by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources pursuant to standards and conditions established by the Department and mutually agreed to by the Department and the State Board of Elections. A completed and signed registration application form, if available, described in G.S. 163-82.3, once approved by the county board of elections, becomes backup to the official registration record of the voter. Full or partial social security numbers, dates of birth, the identity of the public agency at which the voter registered under G.S. 163-82.20, any electronic mail address submitted under Article 21A of this Chapter, and drivers license numbers that may be generated in the voter registration process, by either the State Board of Elections or a county board of elections, are confidential and shall not be considered public records and subject to disclosure to the general public under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. Cumulative data based on those items of information may be publicly disclosed as long as information about any individual cannot be discerned from the disclosed data. Disclosure of information in violation of this subsection shall not give rise to a civil cause of action. This limitation of liability does not apply to the disclosure of information in violation of this subsection as a result of gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable. The signature of the voter, either on the paper application or an electronically captured image of it, may be viewed by the public but may not be copied or traced except by election officials for election administration purposes. Any such copy or tracing is not a public record.

(a1) Paperless, Instant Electronic Transfer. - The application described in G.S. 163-82.3 may be either a paper hard copy or an electronic document.

(b) Access to Registration Records. - Upon request by that person, the county board of elections shall provide to any person a list of the registered voters of the county or of any precinct or precincts in the county. The county board may furnish selective lists according to party affiliation, gender, race, date of registration, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts, or any other reasonable category. No list produced under this section shall contain a voter's date of birth. However, lists may be produced according to voters' ages. Both the following shall apply to all counties:

(1) The county board of elections shall make the voter registration information available to the public on electronic or magnetic medium. For purposes of this section, "electronic or magnetic medium" means any of the media in use by the State Board of Elections at the time of the request.

(2) Information requested on electronic or magnetic medium shall contain the following: voter name, county voter identification number, residential address, mailing address, sex, race, age but not date of birth, party affiliation, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and any other district information available, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts, or any other reasonable category.

The county board shall require each person to whom a list is furnished to reimburse the board for the actual cost incurred in preparing it, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section. Actual cost for the purpose of this section shall not include the cost of any equipment or any imputed overhead expenses. When furnishing information under this subsection to a purchaser on a magnetic medium provided by the county board or the purchaser, the county board may impose a service charge of up to twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(c) Free Lists. - A county board shall provide, upon written request, one free list of all the registered voters in the county to the State chair of each political party and to the county chair of each political party once in every odd-numbered year, once during the first six calendar months of every even-numbered year, and once during the latter six calendar months of every even-numbered year. Each free list shall include the name, address, gender, age but not date of birth, race, political affiliation, voting history, precinct, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts of each registered voter. All free lists shall be provided as soon as practicable on one of any electronic or magnetic media, but no later than 30 days after written request. Each State party chair shall provide the information on the media received from the county boards or a copy of the media containing the data itself to candidates of that party who request the data in writing. As used in this section, "political party" means a political party as defined in G.S. 163-96.

(d) Exception for Address of Certain Registered Voters. - Notwithstanding subsections (b) and (c) of this section, if a registered voter submits to the county board of elections a copy of a protective order without attachments, if any, issued to that person under G.S. 50B-3 or a lawful order of any court of competent jurisdiction restricting the access or contact of one or more persons with a registered voter or a current and valid Address Confidentiality Program authorization card issued pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15C of the General Statutes, accompanied by a signed statement that the voter has good reason to believe that the physical safety of the voter or a member of the voter's family residing with the voter would be jeopardized if the voter's address were open to public inspection, that voter's address is a public record but shall be kept confidential as long as the protective order remains in effect or the voter remains a certified program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program. That voter's name, precinct, and the other data contained in that voter's registration record shall remain a public record. That voter's signed statement submitted under this subsection is a public record but shall be kept confidential as long as the protective order remains in effect or the voter remains a certified program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program. It is the responsibility of the voter to provide the county board with a copy of the valid protective order in effect or a current and valid Address Confidentiality Program authorization card issued pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15C of the General Statutes. The voter's actual address shall be used for any election-related purpose by any board of elections. That voter's address shall be available for inspection by a law enforcement agency or by a person identified in a court order, if inspection of the address by that person is directed by that court order. It shall not be a violation of this section if the address of a voter who is participating in the Address Confidentiality Program is discovered by a member of the public in public records disclosed by a county board of elections prior to December 1, 2001. Addresses required to be kept confidential by this section shall not be made available to the jury commission under the provisions of G.S. 9-2. (1901, c. 89, s. 83; Rev., s. 4382; C.S., s. 6016; 1931, c. 80; 1939, c. 263, s. 31/2; 1949, c. 916, ss. 6, 7; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1959, c. 883; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 22, 25; 1975, c. 12; c. 395; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1242; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s.1; c. 308, s. 1; c. 656; 1983, c. 218, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; c. 472, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 688, s. 2; 2001-396, s. 1; 2002-171, s. 8; 2003-226, ss. 2, 3; 2003-278, s. 6; 2004-127, s. 17(c); 2005-428, s. 10(a), (b); 2007-391, s. 19; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 12; 2011-182, s. 9; 2015-241, s. 14.30(s).)

 

163-82.10A. Permanent voter registration numbers.

The statewide voter registration system shall assign to each voter a unique registration number. That number shall be permanent for that voter and shall not be changed or reassigned by the county board of elections. (2001-319, s. 8.1(a); 2003-226, s. 10.)

 

163-82.10B. Confidentiality of date of birth.

Boards of elections shall keep confidential the date of birth of every voter-registration applicant and registered voter, except in the following situations:

(1) When a voter has filed notice of candidacy for elective office under G.S. 163-106, 163-122, 163-123, or 163-294.2, or 163-323, has been nominated as a candidate under G.S. 163-98 or G.S. 163-114, or has otherwise formally become a candidate for elective office. The exception of this subdivision does not extend to an individual who meets the definition of "candidate" only by beginning a tentative candidacy by receiving funds or making payments or giving consent to someone else to receive funds or transfer something of value for the purpose of exploring a candidacy.

(2) When a voter is serving in an elective office.

(3) When a voter has been challenged pursuant to Article 8 of this Chapter.

(4) When a voter-registration applicant or registered voter expressly authorizes in writing the disclosure of that individual's date of birth.

(5) When requested by a county jury commission established pursuant to G.S. 9-1 for purposes of preparing the master jury list in that county pursuant to G.S. 9-2.

The disclosure of an individual's age does not constitute disclosure of date of birth in violation of this section.

The county board of elections shall give precinct officials access to a voter's date of birth where necessary for election administration, consistent with the duty to keep dates of birth confidential.

Disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this section shall not give rise to a civil cause of action. This limitation of liability does not apply to the disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this subsection as a result of gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable. (2004-127, s. 17(a); 2013-166, s. 1.)

 

163-82.11. Establishment of statewide computerized voter registration.

(a) Statewide System as Official List. - The State Board of Elections shall develop and implement a statewide computerized voter registration system to facilitate voter registration and to provide a central database containing voter registration information for each county. The system shall serve as the single system for storing and managing the official list of registered voters in the State. The system shall serve as the official voter registration list for the conduct of all elections in the State. The system shall encompass both software development and purchasing of the necessary hardware for the central and distributed-network systems.

(b) Uses of Statewide System. - The State Board of Elections shall develop and implement the system so that each county board of elections can do all the following:

(1) Verify that an applicant to register in its county is not also registered in another county.

(2) Be notified automatically that a registered voter in its county has registered to vote in another county.

(3) Receive automatically data about a person who has applied to vote at a drivers license office or at another public agency that is authorized to accept voter registration applications.

(c) Compliance With Federal Law. - The State Board of Elections shall update the statewide computerized voter registration list and database to meet the requirements of section 303(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and to reflect changes when citizenship rights are restored under G.S. 13-1.

(d) Role of County and State Boards of Elections. - Each county board of elections shall be responsible for registering voters within its county according to law. Each county board of elections shall maintain its records by using the statewide computerized voter registration system in accordance with rules promulgated by the State Board of Elections. Each county board of elections shall enter through the computer system all additions, deletions, and changes in its list of registered voters promptly to the statewide computer system.

(e) Cooperation on List for Jury Commission. - The State Board of Elections shall assist the Division of Motor Vehicles in providing to the county jury commission of each county, as required by G.S. 20-43.4, a list of all registered voters in the county and all persons in the county with drivers license records. The list of registered voters provided by the State Board of Elections shall not include any registered voter who has been inactive for eight years or more. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2003-226, s. 6; 2007-512, s. 4.)

 

163-82.12. Promulgation of guidelines relating to computerized voter registration.

The State Board of Elections shall make all guidelines necessary to administer the statewide voter registration system established by this Article. All county boards of elections shall follow these guidelines and cooperate with the State Board of Elections in implementing guidelines. These guidelines shall include provisions for all of the following:

(1) Establishing, developing, and maintaining a computerized central voter registration file.

(2) Linking the central file through a network with computerized voter registration files in each of the counties.

(3) Interacting with the computerized drivers license records of the Division of Motor Vehicles and with the computerized records of other public agencies authorized to accept voter registration applications.

(4) Protecting and securing the data.

(5) Converting current voter registration records in the counties in computer files that can be used on the statewide computerized registration system.

(6) Enabling the statewide system to determine whether the voter identification information provided by an individual is valid.

(7) Enabling the statewide system to interact electronically with the Division of Motor Vehicles system to validate identification information.

(8) Enabling the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide real-time interface for the validation of the drivers license number and last four digits of the social security number.

(8b) Notifying voter-registration applicants whose drivers license or last four digits of social security number does not result in a validation, attempting to resolve the discrepancy, initiating investigations under G.S. 163-33(3) or challenges under Article 8 of this Chapter where warranted, and notifying any voters of the requirement under G.S. 163-166.12(b2) to present identification when voting.

(9) Enabling the statewide system to assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the State.

(10) Enabling the State Board of Elections to assist the Division of Motor Vehicles in providing to the jury commission of each county, as required by G.S. 20-43.4, a list of all registered voters in the county and all persons in the county with drivers license records.

These guidelines shall not be considered to be rules subject to Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. However, the State Board shall publish in the North Carolina Register the guidelines and any changes to them after adoption, with that publication noted as information helpful to the public under G.S. 150B-21.17(a)(6). Copies of those guidelines shall be made available to the public upon request or otherwise by the State Board. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2003-226, s. 7(a); 2007-391, s. 21(b); 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-410, s. 14(a).)

 

163-82.13. Access to statewide voter registration file.

(a) Free Copy for Political Parties. - Beginning January 1, 1996, the State Board of Elections shall make available free of charge, upon written request, one magnetic copy of the statewide computerized voter registration file to the chairman of each political party as defined in G.S. 163-96 as soon as practicable after the close of registration before every statewide primary and election. The file made available to the political party chairmen shall contain the name, address, gender, age but not date of birth, race, voting history, political affiliation, and precinct of every registered voter in the State. If a county board enters telephone numbers into its computer lists of registered voters, then the free list provided under this subsection shall include telephone numbers.

(b) Copies for Sale to Others. - Beginning January 1, 1996, the State Board of Elections shall sell, upon written request, to other public and private organizations and persons magnetic copies of the statewide computerized voter registration file. The State Board of Elections may sell selective lists of registered voters according to county, congressional or legislative district, party affiliation, gender, age but not date of birth, race, date of registration, or any other reasonable category, or a combination of categories. The State Board of Elections shall require all persons to whom any list is furnished under this subsection to reimburse the board for the actual cost incurred in preparing it.(1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2004-127, s. 17(d).)

 

163-82.14. List maintenance.

(a) Uniform Program. - The State Board of Elections shall adopt a uniform program that makes a diligent effort not less than twice each year:

(1) To remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters, and

(2) To update the addresses and other necessary data of persons who remain on the official lists of eligible voters.

That program shall be nondiscriminatory and shall comply with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and with the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act. The State Board of Elections, in addition to the methods set forth in this section, may use other methods toward the ends set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, including address-updating services provided by the Postal Service, and entering into data sharing agreements with other states to cross-check information on voter registration and voting records. Any data sharing agreement shall require the other state or states to comply with G.S. 163-82.10 and G.S. 163-82.10B. Each county board of elections shall conduct systematic efforts to remove names from its list of registered voters in accordance with this section and with the program adopted by the State Board. The county boards of elections shall complete their list maintenance mailing program by April 15 of every odd-numbered year, unless the State Board of Elections approves a different date for the county.

(b) Death. - The Department of Health and Human Services shall furnish free of charge to the State Board of Elections every month, in a format prescribed by the State Board of Elections, the names of deceased persons who were residents of the State. The State Board of Elections shall distribute every month to each county board of elections the names on that list of deceased persons who were residents of that county. The Department of Health and Human Services shall base each list upon information supplied by death certifications it received during the preceding month. Upon the receipt of those names, each county board of elections shall remove from its voter registration records any person the list shows to be dead. Each county board of elections shall also remove from its voter registration records a person identified as deceased by a signed statement of a near relative or personal representative of the estate of the deceased voter. The county board need not send any notice to the address of the person so removed.

(c) Conviction of a Felony. -

(1) Report of Conviction Within the State. - The State Board of Elections, on or before the fifteenth day of every month, shall report to the county board of elections of that county the name, county of residence, and residence address if available, of each individual against whom a final judgment of conviction of a felony has been entered in that county in the preceding calendar month.

(2) Report of Federal Conviction. - The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, upon receipt of a notice of conviction sent by a United States Attorney pursuant to section 8(g) of the National Voter Registration Act, shall notify the appropriate county boards of elections of the conviction.

(3) County Board's Duty Upon Receiving Report of Conviction. - When a county board of elections receives a notice pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection relating to a resident of that county and that person is registered to vote in that county, the board shall, after giving 30 days' written notice to the voter at his registration address, and if the voter makes no objection, remove the person's name from its registration records. If the voter notifies the county board of elections of his objection to the removal within 30 days of the notice, the chairman of the board of elections shall enter a challenge under G.S. 163-85(c)(5), and the notice the county board received pursuant to this subsection shall be prima facie evidence for the preliminary hearing that the registrant was convicted of a felony.

(d) Change of Address. - A county board of elections shall conduct a systematic program to remove from its list of registered voters those who have moved out of the county, and to update the registration records of persons who have moved within the county. The county board shall remove a person from its list if the registrant:

(1) Gives confirmation in writing of a change of address for voting purposes out of the county. "Confirmation in writing" for purposes of this subdivision shall include:

a. A report to the county board from the Department of Transportation or from a voter registration agency listed in G.S. 163-82.20 that the voter has reported a change of address for voting purposes outside the county;

b. A notice of cancellation received under G.S. 163-82.9; or

c. A notice of cancellation received from an election jurisdiction outside the State.

(2) Fails to respond to a confirmation mailing sent by the county board in accordance with this subdivision and does not vote or appear to vote in an election beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for the United States House of Representatives that occurs after the date of the notice. A county board sends a confirmation notice in accordance with this subdivision if the notice:

a. Is a postage prepaid and preaddressed return card, sent by forwardable mail, on which the registrant may state current address;

b. Contains or is accompanied by a notice to the effect that if the registrant did not change residence but remained in the county, the registrant should return the card not later than the deadline for registration by mail in G.S. 163-82.6(c)(1); and

c. Contains or is accompanied by information as to how the registrant may continue to be eligible to vote if the registrant has moved outside the county.

A county board shall send a confirmation mailing in accordance with this subdivision to every registrant after every congressional election if the county board has not confirmed the registrant's address by another means.

(3) Any registrant who is removed from the list of registered voters pursuant to this subsection shall be reinstated if the voter appears to vote and gives oral or written affirmation that the voter has not moved out of the county but has maintained residence continuously within the county. That person shall be allowed to vote as provided in G.S. 163-82.15(f).

(e) Cooperation on List Maintenance Efforts. - The State Board has the authority to perform list maintenance under this section with the same authority as a county board. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 25, 28; c. 1223, s. 4; 1975, c. 395; 1977, c. 265, s. 3; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s. 1; c. 308, s. 1; 1983, c. 411, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 691, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.117; 1999-453, s. 7(a), (b); 2001-319, ss. 8(a), 11; 2005-428, s. 14; 2007-391, ss. 18, 32; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-381, ss. 18.1, 39.1(b); 2014-111, s. 16.)

 

163-82.15. Change of address within the county.

(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - No registered voter shall be required to re-register upon moving from one precinct to another within the same county. Instead, a registrant shall notify the county board of the change of address by the close of registration for an election as set out in G.S. 163-82.6(c). In addition to any other method allowed by G.S. 163-82.6, the form may be submitted by electronic facsimile, under the same deadlines as if it had been submitted in person. The registrant shall make the notification by means of a voter registration form as described in G.S. 163-82.3, or by another written notice, signed by the registrant, that includes the registrant's full name, former residence address, new residence address, and the registrant's attestation that the registrant moved at least 30 days before the next primary or election from the old to the new address.

(b) Verification of New Address by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice that a registrant in that county has changed residence within the same county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant at the new address. The notice shall inform the registrant of any new precinct and voting place that will result from the change of address, and it shall state whether the registrant shall vote at the new voting place during the upcoming election or at a later election. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall either:

(1) Send a second notice by nonforwardable mail to the new address and, if it is returned as undeliverable, send to the registrant's old address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2); or

(2) Send to the registrant's old address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2) without first sending a second nonforwardable notice to the new address.

In either case, if the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d).

(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's new address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the county board shall as soon as practical change the record to reflect the new address.

(d) Unreported Move Within the Same Precinct. - A registrant who has moved from one address to another within the same precinct shall, notwithstanding failure to notify the county board of the change of address before an election, be permitted to vote at the voting place of that precinct upon oral or written affirmation by the registrant of the change of address before a precinct official at that voting place.

(e) Unreported Move to Another Precinct Within the County. - If a registrant has moved from an address in one precinct to an address in another precinct within the same county more than 30 days before an election and has failed to notify the county board of the change of address before the close of registration for that election, the county board shall permit that person to vote in that election. The county board shall permit the registrant described in this subsection to vote at the registrant's new precinct, upon the registrant's written affirmation of the new address, or, if the registrant prefers, at a central location in the county to be chosen by the county board. If the registrant appears at the old precinct, the precinct officials there shall (i) send the registrant to the new precinct or, (ii) if the registrant prefers, to the central location, according to rules which shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections, or (iii) permit the voter to vote a provisional ballot and shall count the individual's provisional official ballot for all ballot items on which it determines that the individual was eligible under State or federal law to vote. At the new precinct, the registrant shall be processed by a precinct transfer assistant, according to rules which shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections.

(f) When Registrant Disputes Registration Records. - If the registration records indicate that the registrant has moved outside the precinct, but the registrant denies having moved from the address within the precinct previously shown on the records, the registrant shall be permitted to vote at the voting place for the precinct where the registrant claims to reside, if the registrant gives oral or written affirmation before a precinct official at that voting place.

(g) Precinct Transfer Assistants. - The county board of elections shall either designate a board employee or appoint other persons to serve as precinct transfer assistants to receive the election-day transfers of the voters described in subsection (e) of this section. In addition, board members and employees may perform the duties of precinct transfer assistants. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate uniform rules to carry out the provisions of this section, and shall define in those rules the duties of the precinct transfer assistant. (1979, c. 135, s. 2; 1983, c. 392, s. 2; 1984, Ex. Sess., c. 3, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 549, s. 1; 1989, c. 427; 1991, c. 12, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-314, s. 1; 2005-2, s. 3; 2006-262, s. 2; 2014-111, s. 12(a).)

 

163-82.15A. Administrative change of registration when county line is adjusted.

When a boundary between counties is established by legislation or under G.S. 153A-18, the Executive Director shall direct the county boards of elections involved to administratively change the voter registration of any voter whose county of residence is altered by the establishment of the boundary. The voter shall not be required to submit a new application to register, and the provisions of G.S. 163-57 shall apply to the determination of residency. The Executive Director shall prescribe a method of notifying the voter of the change of county registration, the correct precinct, and other relevant information. (2005-428, s. 3(a).)

 

163-82.16. Change of name.

(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - If the name of a registrant is changed in accordance with G.S. 48-1-104, G.S. 50-12, or Chapter 101 of the General Statutes, or if a married registrant assumes the last name of the registrant's spouse, the registrant shall not be required to re-register, but shall report the change of name to the county board not later than the last day for applying to register to vote for an election in G.S. 163-82.6. The registrant shall report the change on a form described in G.S. 163-82.3 or on a voter registration card described in G.S. 163-82.8 or in another written statement that is signed, contains the registrant's full names, old and new, and the registrant's current residence address.

(b) Verification of New Name by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice of name change from a registrant in that county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant's residence address. The notice shall state that the registrant's records will be changed to reflect the new name if the registrant does not respond that the name change is incorrect. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall send to the registrant's residence address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2).

If the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d).

(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and the registrant does not deny making the application for the name change, the county board shall as soon as practical change the record of the registrant's name to conform to that stated in the application.

(d) Unreported Name Change. - A registrant who has not reported a name change in accordance with subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted to vote if the registrant reports the name change to the chief judge at the voting place, or to the county board along with the voter's application for an absentee ballot. (1979, c. 480; 1981, c. 33, s. 3; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 457, s. 9.)

 

163-82.17. Change of party affiliation.

(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - Any registrant who desires to have the record of his party affiliation or unaffiliated status changed on the registration list shall, no later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163-82.6 before the election, indicate the change on an application form as described in G.S. 163-82.3 or on a voter registration card described in G.S. 163-82.8. No registrant shall be permitted to change party affiliation or unaffiliated status for a primary, second primary, or special or general election after the deadline for registration applications for that election as set out in G.S. 163-82.6.

(b) Verification of Affiliation Change by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice of change of party affiliation or unaffiliated status from a registrant in that county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant's residence address. The notice shall state that the registrant's records will be changed to reflect the change of status if the registrant does not respond by stating that he does not desire a change in status. The notice shall also inform the registrant of the time that the change of affiliation status will occur, and shall explain the provisions of subsection (d) of this section. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall send to the registrant's residence address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2). If the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d).

(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and the registrant does not deny making the application to change affiliated or unaffiliated status, the county board of elections shall as soon as practical change the record of the registrant's party affiliation, or unaffiliated status, to conform to that stated in the application. Thereafter the voter shall be considered registered and qualified to vote in accordance with the change, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(d) Deadline to Change Status Before Primary. - If a registrant applies to change party affiliation or unaffiliated status later than the last day for applying to register under G.S. 163-82.6 before a primary, the registrant shall not be entitled to vote in the primary of a party in which the registrant's status on that last day did not entitle the registrant to vote.

(e) Authority of County Board or Director to Make Correction. - If at any time the chairman or director of elections of the county board of elections is satisfied that an error has been made in designating the party affiliation of any voter on the registration records, then the chairman or director of elections of the county board of elections shall make the necessary correction after receiving from the voter a sworn statement as to the error and the correct status. (1939, c. 263, s. 6; 1949, c. 916, ss. 4, 8; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; c. 871, s. 3; 1957, c. 784, s. 5; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 30, 31; c. 1223, s. 5; 1975, c. 234, s. 2; 1977, c. 130, s. 1; c. 626, s. 1; 1981, c. 33, s. 4; c. 219, s. 4; 1983, c. 576, s. 4; 1987, c. 408, ss. 1, 6; 1989, c. 635, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 4; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1.)

 

163-82.18. Appeal from denial of registration.

(a) Right to Appeal. - Any applicant who receives notice of denial of registration pursuant to G.S. 163-82.7 may appeal the denial within five days after receipt of the notice of denial. The county board of elections shall promptly set a date for a public hearing. The notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be signed by the appealing party, shall include the appealing party's name, date of birth, address, and reasons for the appeal.

(b) Hearing Before County Board of Elections. - The county board of elections shall set a date and time for a public hearing and shall notify the appealing party. Every person appealing to the county board of elections from denial of registration shall be entitled to a prompt and fair hearing on the question of the denied applicant's right and qualifications to register as a voter. All cases on appeal to a county board of elections shall be heard de novo.

Two members of the county board of elections shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of hearing appeals on questions of registration. The decision of a majority of the members of the board shall be the decision of the board. The board shall be authorized to subpoena witnesses and to compel their attendance and testimony under oath, and it is further authorized to subpoena papers and documents relevant to any matters pending before the board.

If at the hearing the board shall find that the person appealing from a denial of registration meets all requirements of law for registration as a voter in the county, the board shall enter an order directing that the appellant be registered and assign the appellant to the appropriate precinct. Not later than five days after an appeal is heard before the county board of elections, the board shall give written notice of its decision to the appealing party.

(c) Appeal to Superior Court. - Any person aggrieved by a final decision of a county board of elections denying registration may at any time within 10 days from the date on which he receives notice of the decision appeal to the superior court of the county in which the board is located. Upon such an appeal, the appealing party shall be the plaintiff and the county board of elections shall be the defendant, and the matter shall be heard de novo in the superior court in the manner in which other civil actions are tried and disposed of in that court.

If the decision of the court is that the order of the county board of elections shall be set aside, then the court shall enter its order so providing and adjudging that the plaintiff is entitled to be registered as a qualified voter in the precinct in which he originally made application to register, and in such case the plaintiff's name shall be entered in the registration book of that precinct. The court shall not order the registration of any person in a precinct in which he did not apply to register prior to the proceeding in court.

From the judgment of the superior court an appeal may be taken to the appellate division in the same manner as other appeals are taken from judgments of that court in civil actions. (1957, c. 287, dd. 2-4; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 44, s. 82; 1981, c. 542, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.)

 

163-82.19. Voter registration at drivers license offices; coordination on data interface.

(a) Voter Registration at Drivers License Offices. - The Division of Motor Vehicles shall, pursuant to the rules adopted by the State Board of Elections, modify its forms so that any eligible person who applies for original issuance, renewal or correction of a drivers license, or special identification card issued under G.S. 20-37.7 may, on a part of the form, complete an application to register to vote, or to update the voter's registration if the voter has changed his or her address or moved from one precinct to another or from one county to another. The person taking the application shall ask if the applicant is a citizen of the United States. If the applicant states that the applicant is not a citizen of the United States, or declines to answer the question, the person taking the application shall inform the applicant that it is a felony for a person who is not a citizen of the United States to apply to register to vote. Any person who willfully and knowingly and with fraudulent intent gives false information on the application is guilty of a Class I felony. The application shall state in clear language the penalty for violation of this section. The necessary forms shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The form must ask for the previous voter registration address of the voter, if any. If a previous address is listed, and it is not in the county of residence of the applicant, the appropriate county board of elections shall treat the application as an authorization to cancel the previous registration and also process it as such under the procedures of G.S. 163-82.9. If a previous address is listed and that address is in the county where the voter applies to register, the application shall be processed as if it had been submitted under G.S. 163-82.9.

Registration shall become effective as provided in G.S. 163-82.7. Applications to register to vote accepted at a drivers license office under this section until the deadline established in G.S. 163-82.6(c)(2) shall be treated as timely made for an election, and no person who completes an application at that drivers license office shall be denied the vote in that election for failure to apply earlier than that deadline.

All applications shall be forwarded by the Department of Transportation to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after the date of acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections. Those rules shall provide for a paperless, instant, electronic transfer of applications to the appropriate board of elections.

(b) Coordination on Data Interface. - The Department of Transportation jointly with the State Board of Elections shall develop and operate a computerized interface to match information in the database of the statewide voter registration system with the drivers license information in the Division of Motor Vehicles to the extent required to enable the State Board of Elections and the Department of Transportation to verify the accuracy of the information provided on applications for voter registration, whether the applications were received at drivers license offices or elsewhere. The Department of Transportation and the State Board shall implement the provisions of this subsection so as to comply with section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The Department of Transportation shall enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security so as to comply with section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. (1983, c. 854, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 19(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1998-149, s. 11.1; 2001-319, s. 7(a); 2003-226, s. 7(b); 2009-541, s. 13(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(e).)

 

163-82.20. Voter registration at other public agencies.

(a) Voter Registration Agencies. - Every office in this State which accepts:

(1) Applications for a program of public assistance under Article 2 of Chapter 108A of the General Statutes or under Article 13 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes;

(2) Applications for State-funded State or local government programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, with such office designated by the State Board of Elections; or

(3) Claims for benefits under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law, is designated as a voter registration agency for purposes of this section.

(b) Duties of Voter Registration Agencies. - A voter registration agency described in subsection (a) of this section shall, unless the applicant declines, in writing, to register to vote:

(1) Distribute with each application for service or assistance, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address relating to such service or assistance:

a. The voter registration application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b); or

b. The voter registration agency's own form, if it is substantially equivalent to the form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b) and has been approved by the State Board of Elections, provided that the agency's own form may be a detachable part of the agency's paper application or may be a paperless computer process, as long as the applicant is required to sign an attestation as part of the application to register.

(2) Provide a form that contains the elements required by section 7(a)(6)(B) of the National Voter Registration Act; and

(3) Provide to each applicant who does not decline to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms.

(c) Provided that voter registration agencies designated under subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall only be required to provide the services set out in this subsection to applicants for new claims, reopened claims, and changes of address under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law.

(d) Home Registration for Disabled. - If a voter registration agency provides services to a person with disability at the person's home, the voter registration agency shall provide the services described in subsection (b) of this section at the person's home.

(e) Prohibitions. - Any person providing any service under subsection (b) of this section shall not:

(1) Seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party registration, except that this shall not be construed to prevent the notice provided by G.S. 163-82.4(c) to be given if the applicant refuses to declare his party affiliation;

(2) Display any such political preference or party allegiance;

(3) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or

(4) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

(f) Confidentiality of Declination to Register. - No information relating to a declination to register to vote in connection with an application made at a voter registration agency may be used for any purpose other than voter registration.

(g) Transmittal From Agency to Board of Elections. - Any voter registration application completed at a voter registration agency shall be accepted by that agency in lieu of the applicant's mailing the application. Any such application so received shall be transmitted to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections.

(h) Twenty-Five-Day Deadline for an Election. - Applications to register accepted by a voter registration agency shall entitle a registrant to vote in any primary, general, or special election unless the registrant shall have made application later than the twenty-fifth calendar day immediately preceding such primary, general, or special election, provided that nothing shall prohibit voter registration agencies from continuing to accept applications during that period.

(i) Ineligible Applications Prohibited. - No person shall make application to register to vote under this section if that person is ineligible on account of age, citizenship, lack of residence for the period of time provided by law, or because of conviction of a felony. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 507, s. 25.10(c); 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 608, s. 1; 2009-541, s. 14(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(f).)

 

163-82.20A. Voter registration upon restoration of citizenship.

The State Board of Elections, the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, and the Administrative Office of the Courts shall jointly develop and implement educational programs and procedures for persons to apply to register to vote at the time they are restored to citizenship and all filings required have been completed under Chapter 13 of the General Statutes. Those procedures shall be designed to do both of the following:

(1) Inform the person that the restoration of rights removes the person's disqualification from voting, but that in order to vote the person must register to vote.

(2) Provide an opportunity to that person to register to vote.

At a minimum, the program shall include a written notice to the person whose citizenship has been restored, informing that person that the person may now register to vote, with a voter registration form enclosed with the notice. (2007-391, s. 26(a); 2011-145, s. 19.1(h).)

 

163-82.21. Voter registration at military recruitment offices.

The Executive Director, jointly with the Department of Defense, shall develop and implement procedures for persons to apply to register to vote at recruitment offices of the Armed Forces of the United States in compliance with section 7(c) of the National Voter Registration Act. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 11; 2011-183, s. 111.)

 

163-82.22. Voter registration at public libraries and public agencies.

(a) Every library covered by G.S. 153A-272 shall make available to the public the application forms described in G.S. 163-82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. Every library covered by G.S. 153A-272 shall designate at least one employee to assist voter registration applicants in completing the form during all times that the library is open.

(b) If approved by the State Board of Elections, the county board of elections, and the county board of commissioners, a county may offer voter registration in accordance with this section through the following additional public offices:

(1) Senior centers or facilities operated by the county.

(2) Parks and recreation services operated by the county. (1975, c. 234, s. 1; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1983, c. 588, ss. 2, 3; c. 707; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 973, ss. 1, 2; c. 1044, s. 19(b); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2013-381, s. 5.1.)

 

163-82.23. Voter registration at public high schools.

Every public high school shall make available to its students and others who are eligible to register to vote the application forms described in G.S. 163-82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. A local board of education may, but is not required to, designate high school employees to assist in completing the forms. Only employees who volunteer for this duty may be designated by boards of education. (1975, c. 234, s. 1; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1983, c. 588, ss. 2, 3; c. 707; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 973, ss. 1, 2; c. 1044, s. 19(b); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 15(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(d).)

 

163-82.24. Statewide training and certification for election officials.

(a) Training. - The State Board of Elections shall conduct training programs in election law and procedures. Every county elections director shall receive training conducted by the State Board at least as often as required in the following schedule:

(1) Once during each odd-numbered year before the municipal election held in the county;

(2) Once during each even-numbered year before the first partisan primary; and

(3) Once during each even-numbered year after the partisan primaries but before the general election.

Every member of a county board of elections shall receive training conducted by the State Board at least once during the six months after the member's initial appointment and at least once again during the first two years of the member's service. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the training of precinct officials, which shall be followed by the county boards of elections.

(b) Certification. - The State Board of Elections shall conduct a program for certification of election officials. The program shall include training in election law and procedures. Before issuing certification to an election official, the State Board shall administer an examination designed to determine the proficiency of the official in election law and procedures. The State Board shall set adequate standards for the passage of the examination. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 2001-319, s. 2(a).)

 

163-82.25: Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 19.1, effective January 1, 2014. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 19(e); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 16(a); repealed by 2013-381, s. 19.1, effective January 1, 2014.)

 

163-82.26. Rule-making authority.

The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions of this Article. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.)

 

163-82.27. Help America Vote Act of 2002.

As used in this Chapter, the term "Help America Vote Act of 2002" means the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666 (2002), codified at 42 U.S.C. 15481-15485. Citations to titles and sections of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 are as they appear in the Public Law. The State Board shall have the authority to adopt rules and guidelines to implement the minimum requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. (2003-226, s. 21.)

 

163-82.28. The HAVA Election Fund.

There is established a special fund to be known as the Election Fund. All funds received for implementation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, shall be deposited in that fund. The State Board of Elections shall use funds in the Election Fund only to implement HAVA. (2003-12, s. 1; 2005-276, s. 23A.2(a); 2005-323, s. 7; 2006-264, s. 76(d).)

 

163-83. Reserved for future codification purposes.