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.)