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.)