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Election Administration in North Carolina

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Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The primary election date for state offices, U.S. Senator, and the President is March 15, 2016. The primary election date for U.S. House of Representatives is June 7, 2016. For the 2016 election cycle, no second primary elections will be held.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.15 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.16 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6A [link]

N.C. Session Law 2016-2 [link]

N.C. Session Law 2015-258 [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The general election date for state and federal offices is November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-18)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-1 [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primaries.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-1 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(c) [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

North Carolina's primaries are semi-closed; voters who are registered with a political party may vote only in their party's primary, but North Carolina law lets each political party decide whether to allow voters not affiliated with a political party to vote in their primary. The three political parties currently operating North Carolina--Democratic Party, Republican Party, and Libertarian Party--have each chosen to allow unaffiliated voters to vote in their primaries.

Unaffiliated voters may vote only in one party's primary. If a second primary election is held, an unaffiliated voter may vote only in the second primary of the party whose first primary they voted in. If an unaffiliated voter did not vote in a first primary election, then the unaffiliated voter may choose to vote in any one party's second primary.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(c) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-59 [link]

When can a voter change or switch their party affiliation?

A change to party affiliation must be made before the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.17 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6A(e) [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

A voter must be a resident of North Carolina and the precinct in which they wish to vote for 30 days before the election.

If a voter's home is not a traditional home residence associated with real property, then the location of the usual sleeping area for that person is considered that person's home for voter registration purposes. Applicants who do not have a street address are instructed to indicate on the map on the voter registration application where they live, and they should include nearby roads and landmarks.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-57(1)(c) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(d)(2) [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

Yes, any person who is at least 16 years old may pre-register to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. S.L. 2013-381 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.1(d)(pre-registration) [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 12 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381 and restoring prior version of § 163-227.2) [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-59 [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

Yes. People convicted of felonies cannot vote while serving in prison, on parole, or on probation.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-59(a)(2) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.1(c)(2) [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

A person convicted of a felony automatically regains the right to vote after they have fully completed their sentence, including any period of imprisonment, probation, and parole, or upon being pardoned. After regaining the right to vote, a person must register to vote even if they were registered before they were convicted.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.1(c)(2) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 13.1 [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

No. However, a voter can scan their completed voter registration application and e-mail it as an attachment to their county board of elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

NC State Board of Elections website [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(a) [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

National Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

A student may choose whether to register to vote at their address while attending college or to register to vote at their permanent address outside of the college community, such as their parent's address.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-57(11) [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

For voter registration applications that are submitted by mail, the deadline is 25 days before an election. For voter registration applications submitted in person at county election office, by fax, or as an attachment to an e-mail, a county's board of elections may choose to establish a later deadline; voters should contact their local election officials to determine whether their board has done so. Additionally, North Carolina has same-day registration during early voting. This means that after the voter registration deadline, a person can register to vote in person at a a one-stop voting site during the early voting period, which begins the third Thursday before Election Day and, depending on the county, ends on the Saturday before Election Day at a time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

If a voter registration application is submitted by fax or as an attachment to an email, the voter must deliver a permanent copy of their completed application to the county board of elections no later than 20 days before the election.

If a person gives their completed voter registration application to a another person (""delegate"") to turn it in for them, and the delegate does not turn in the application by the voter registration deadline, then the person may still be registered to vote so long as the person gave the application to the delegate no later than the 25th day before the election (or later, if the person became a naturalized citizen or regained the right to vote after the voter registration deadline; see the next paragraph).

If a person becomes a naturalized citizen after the voter registration deadline, or if a person regains the right to vote by completing a sentence for a felony conviction after the voter registration deadline, the person may submit a voter registration application up until Election Day. In this circumstance, the person may submit their voter registration application to any one of the following officials: (1) a member of the county board of elections, (2) the county director of elections, or (3) a judge in the precinct where the person is eligible to vote. The person shall present to the official written or documentary evidence confirming the person's identity. The official, if in doubt as to the right of the person 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 can vote in the election, and the county board must add the person's name to the list of registered voters. If the official denies the application, the person may vote a ""challenged ballot"" and appeal the official's decision to the full county board of elections.

Finally, a person may register to vote after the voter registration deadline if they were outside of their county on the day of the voter registration deadline because of their service in the armed forces, national guard, state miliia units, Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Such people may register to vote up until the end of Election Day, either at the county board of election's office or at their voting place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.2 [link]

N.C. S.L. 2013-381 [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 25 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381 and restoring prior version of § 163-227.2) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.28 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163–227.2 (early voting) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(c)-(e) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - An application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(c)(1) [link]

When must a voter make changes to their registration for the changes to be in effect before the person seeks to vote?

Generally, a person must make changes to their voter registration record no later than the voter registratrion deadline. However, a voter may also update any part of their voter registration record, except for their party affiliation, at a one-stop voting location during the early voting period.

Additionally, if a voter changed their name and did not update their voter registration record with their new name, the voter may still vote by either (1) affirming their name change to a chief judge at the voting place on Election Day, or (2) affirming their name change to the county board of elections when the voter applies for an absentee ballot.

Finally, if a voter moved without updating their voter registration record with their new address, the following rules apply on Election Day:

  • If the voter moved to a new address that is located within the same precinct as their old address, the voter can vote in their precinct voting place after affirming their address change to a precinct official.

  • If the voter moved to a new precinct but still lives in the same county as their old address, the voter can either (1) vote at their new precinct's voting place, after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official; (2) vote at a central location in the county, after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official; or (3) vote a provisional ballot at their old precinct's voting place after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official, but the provisional ballot will count only for races that the voter is eligible to vote for in their new precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(c) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.3(a) [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

No.

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

Drives must provide individuals with current, state-approved voter registration applications. Blank voter registration applications may be picked up from county boards of elections’ offices if the drive is requesting less than 500 applications. If the drive is requesting 500 or more applications, the drive must order the applications from the State Board of Elections by filling out and submitting a NC Voter Registration Supplies Order Form and faxing it to the number on the form. Click here to download the order form. The order form may be mailed, faxed, or scanned and e-mailed to the State Board of Elections at the address or fax number given on the form, or by e-mail to elections.sboe@ncsbe.gov.

The State Board of Election's website says that drive organizers should not make copies of the voter registration form available on its website.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

NC State Board of Elections website [link]

NC Voter Registration Supplies Order Form [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

NC State Board of Elections website [link]

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

No. However, drives may not refuse to accept completed forms.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

NC State Board of Elections website [link]

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

Yes. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to be compensated based on the number of forms submitted for assisting persons in registering to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-274(a)(14) [link]

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever "pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years." At least one federal appellate court has interpreted "payment" as "intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on "an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item." That case held that food vouchers could be "payment."

Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that "Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

No.

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

No.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

North Carolina law does not address this issue.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

Yes. Anyone who tells an applicant that the they will submit the applicant’s completed voter registration application must deliver that application to the county board of elections before the voter registration deadline of the next election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(a) [link]

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

Any person who tells the applicant that they will submit the applicant’s completed voter registration application but fails to make a good faith effort to deliver it to the county board of elections before the voter regisrtation deadline is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-01)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(a) [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

A person can register to vote and cast their ballot at the same time at a one-stop voting site during the early voting period, which begins the third Thursday before Election Day and, depending on the county, ends on the Saturday before Election Day at a time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Generally, a person cannot register to vote on Election Day in North Carolina. However, a person may register to vote on Election Day at their polling place (or the county board of election's office) if they were outside of their county on the day of the voter registration deadline because of their service in the armed forces, national guard, state miliia units, Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Additionally, if a person becomes a naturalized citizen after the voter registration deadline, or if a person regains the right to vote by completing a sentence for a felony conviction after the voter registration deadline, the person may submit a voter registration application up until Election Day. In this circumstance, the person may submit their voter registration application to any one of the following officials: (1) a member of the county board of elections, (2) the county director of elections, or (3) a judge in the precinct where the person is eligible to vote. The person shall present to the official written or documentary evidence confirming the person's identity. The official, if in doubt as to the right of the person 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 can vote in the election, and the county board must add the person's name to the list of registered voters. If the official denies the application, the person may vote a ""challenged ballot"" and appeal the official's decision to the full county board of elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.2 [link]

N.C. S.L. 2013-381 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.28 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163–227.2 (early voting) [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 25 and Part 16 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381 and restoring prior versions of § 163-227.2 and § 163-82.6A) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6(c)-(e) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6A (same-day registration) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

If a voter moved without updating their voter registration record with their new address before the voter registration deadline, the voter may update their address during the early voting period at a one-stop voting location.

If a voter did not update their address before the voter registration deadline or at a one-stop voting location, then following rules apply on Election Day:

  • If the voter moved to a new address that is located within the same precinct as their old address, the voter can vote in their precinct voting place after affirming their address change to a precinct official.

  • If the voter moved to a new precinct but still lives in the same county as their old address, the voter can either (1) vote at their new precinct's voting place, after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official; (2) vote at a central location in the county, after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official; or (3) vote a provisional ballot at their old precinct's voting place after affirming in writing their new address to a precinct official, but the provisional ballot will count only for races that the voter is eligible to vote for in their new precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.15 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6A [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.1(4) [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

If a voter changed their name but did not update their voter registration record with their new name, the voter may still vote by either (1) updating their voter registration record during the early voting period at a one-stop voting location; (2) affirming their name change to a chief judge at the voting place on Election Day; or (3) affirming their name change to the county board of elections when applying for an absentee ballot .

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.16 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.6A [link]

8 N.C. Admin. Code 6B.0102(4) [link]

8 N.C. Admin. Code 04.0303 [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(e) [link]

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

No.

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

State law mirrors this federal requirement.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.8 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to a disability may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

State law mirrors this federal requirement.

However, under state law, different rules apply to any voter who is a patient or resident in any hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home and is voting an absentee ballot. Such voters cannot be assisted in marking their absentee ballot by any person except for the voter's near relative; the voter's verifiable legal guardian; or a member, employee, or volunteer of a county board of elections if that person is working as part of a multipartisan team trained and authorized by the county board of elections to assist voters with absentee ballots. If neither the voter's near relative nor a verifiable legal guardian is available to assist the voter, and a multipartisan team is not available to assist the voter within seven calendar days of a telephone request to the county board of elections, then the voter may obtain assistance from any person other than (i) an owner, manager, director, or employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office, or is a candidate for any elective office, under the United States, North Carolina, or any political subdivision of North Carolina; or (iii) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party, except that a delegate to a convention is not considered a party office.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.8 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10508 (federal law) [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Curbside voting: If a voter can travel to their voting place but cannot enter the voting enclosure to vote in person without requiring physical assistance due to the voter's age or disability, then the voter may vote a paper ballot either in their car or in the area immediate outside of the voting place. To take advantage of this, the voter must sign an affidavit swearing that they are registered to vote and meet the age or disability requirement. After completing the affidavit, an election judge or assistant will deliver a paper ballot to the voter, allow the voter to mark it in their car, and then return to the paper ballot to the voting enclosure. The voter may be assisted in marking their ballot by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union (see question above about assistance).

Absentee voting: If a voter indicates on their absentee ballot application that they have a disability or illness that they expect to last for at least the rest of the calendar year, then that voter will be sent absentee ballots for all elections that year without the voter needing to reapply for an absentee ballot before each election.

Voter ID exemption: If a voter has a disability that prevents them from complying with the state's requirement that voters show certain forms of photo ID at the polls in order to vote, then that voter can obtain an exemption from the requirement by declaring that their disability is a "reasonable impediment" to meeting the requirement. The voter must make this declaration in writing at the polling place using an official form, sign it, and provide one of the following forms of identification: either (1) the last four digits of their Social Security number and their birthdate, or (2) a copy of their voter registration card, or (3) a copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document. After submitting the declaration and one of these forms of identification to a precinct official, the voter may cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted without any requirement that the voter provide additional information. However, if the voter submits the declaration without identification, then the voter can still vote a provisional ballot, but the ballot will be counted only if the voter goes to their county board of election's office by 12:00pm on the 9th day after a November election in an even-numbered year or the 6th day after any other election and presents one of the forms of identification listed above.

Mental incompetency: A person's right to vote can be lost due to mental incompetency only if a court specifically determines that the person does not have the mental competency to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-226(a2) [link]

State Absentee Ballot Request Form (English) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.9 (curbside voting) [link]

8 N.C. Admin. Code 10B.0108 (curbside voting) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.2 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes. In North Carolina, early voting is called "one-stop absentee voting."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Statute 163-182.5 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-227.2(b) [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

Usually the office of the county board of elections, but the county board of elections and State Board of Elections may approve an alternative location or additional locations. A county-by-county list of locations, which includes the hours that they are open, is available at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/OS_Sites/.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-227.2(g) [link]

NC One-Stop Site Search [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

One-stop early voting takes place between the third Thursday before the election and, depending on the county, at a time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the Saturday before the election. A county-by-county list of locations, which includes the hours that they are open, is available at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/OS_Sites/.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. S.L. 2013-381 [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 25 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381 and restoring prior version of § 163-227.2) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163–227.2 (early voting) [link]

NC One-Stop Site Search [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

A plan is written and approved by each county board of elections, subject to the approval of the State Board of Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

NC One-Stop Site Search [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-227.2 [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Lists of those who requested an absentee ballot are a public record and are open to inspection by any registered voter, within 60 days before and 30 days after an election (alternate times require "good and sufficient reason"). People who vote at one-stop voting locations are considered to have voted an absentee ballot.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-228 [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-228 [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

The application must be received by the county board of elections by 5:00pm on the Tuesday before the election. The application can be sent by mail, fax, e-mail, or personal delivery.

However, if a voter expects to be unable to go to the voting place to vote in person on Election Day because of sickness or physical disability, the voter or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian may apply for an absentee ballot for them in person to the county board of elections after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The county board of elections may then give an absenteeballot to the voter or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian to deliver to the voter. Relatives who may apply for the voter include the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, and legal guardian.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

NC State Board of Elections website [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.1(a)-(a1), (f) [link]

State Absentee Ballot Request Form (English) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-119 [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

First, a voter must obtain an absentee ballot application. A voter may obtain an absentee ballot application online; click here for an English application and click here for a Spanish application. Alternatively, a voter may obtain an absentee ballot application in person at their county board of election's office or the State Board of Election's office, or a voter can receive an application through the mail by mailing a written request for an application to their county board of election's office.

Next, the voter must fill out the application and submit it to their county board of election's office either by mail, fax, e-mail, or personal delivery. The voter may also designate a verifiable guardian or near relative to fill out and submit the application for them, so long as the relative or guardian writes on the application their name, address, contact information, and relationship to the voter. Relatives who a voter can designate to submit their application for them include the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, and legal guardian.

If a voter indicates on their absentee ballot application that they have a disability or illness that they expect to last for at least the rest of the calendar year, then that voter will be sent absentee ballots for all elections that year without the voter needing to reapply for an absentee ballot before each election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.1(a), (f) [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter can e-mail an attachment of their completed absentee ballot application to the county board of elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

State Absentee Ballot Request Form (English) [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

No supporting documentation or verification is required when submitting an absentee ballot application.

However, when submitting an absentee ballot itself, the voter must do the following on the absentee ballot's container-return envelope: (1) complete the certification of their eligibility to vote; (2) their signature; and either (3a) have two witnesses sign the envelope and write their names and address on it or (3b) have a notary public sign the envelope as a witness and write their name and address on it.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-231(a) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-229(b) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

The voter may designate a verifiable guardian or near relative to fill out and submit the application for them, so long as the relative or guardian writes on the application their name, address, contact information, and relationship to the voter. Relatives who a voter can designate to submit their application for them include the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, and legal guardian.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.1(a), (f) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

Absentee ballots that are personally delivered to the county board of election's office or a one-stop voting site must be received by 5:00pm on Election Day. Absentee ballots that are mailed to the county board of election's office must be postmarked no later than Election Day and received by the county board of election's office no later than 3 days after Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-24)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-231(b)-(c) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

Hybrid. See above regarding different deadlines for when the election official must receive the ballot and when it must be sent.

Source (confirmed on: 2012-9-11)

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

A voter may return the absentee ballot by mail or personal delivery, or the voter may designate a near relative or verifiable legal guardian to personally deliver the ballot to the county board of election's office. Relatives who can be designated include the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, and legal guardian.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.1 (f) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-231(b) [link]

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

If a voter expects to be unable to go to the voting place to vote in person on Election Day because they are sick or have a physical disability, the voter or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian may apply for an absentee ballot in person to the county board of elections after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election but no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The county board of elections may then give absentee to the voter or to the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian to deliver to the voter. Relatives who may apply for the voter include the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, and legal guardian.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-230.1(a1), (f) [link]

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

Lists of those who requested an absentee ballot are a public record and are open to inspection by any registered voter, within 60 days before and 30 days after an election (alternate times require "good and sufficient reason").

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-228 [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter’s previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter’s previous state of residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters are eligible:

  • A member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty, or their spouse or dependent
  • A member of the Merchant Marines, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, or their spouse or dependent
  • A member of the National Guard or state militia who is on activated status, or their spouse or dependent
  • A U.S. citizen who is outside of the United States if they were last eligible to vote in North Carolina before they left the country, or would have been last eligible to vote if they were 18 years old when they left the country
  • A U.S. citizen who is outside of the United States and who has a parent or legal guardian who was last eligible to vote in North Carolina before they left the country (or would have been, except for not being 18 years old or older at the time), if the person has never been registered to vote in another state.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.7 [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

A voter may apply for a military-overseas absentee ballot by submitting either a regular absentee ballot application (see preceding questions on "Absentee Voting by Mail") or the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) to their county board of elections by mail, fax, e-mail, electronic submission, or personal delivery. A person who is not registered to vote may use an FPCA to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the same time.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.7 [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-5-20)

None [link]

None [link]

None [link]

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_163/GS_163-230.1.html [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

The application must be received by 5 p.m. on the day before Election Day. However, voters should apply well in advance of this deadline to ensure that there is enough time for the voter to receive their ballot and return it before the ballot submission deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.8 [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

To be valid, a military/overseas ballot must either: (1) be received by the county board of elections by the time the polls close on Election Day; or (2) be submitted for mailing, faxed, e-mailed, or electronically submitted no later than 12:01 a.m. on Election Day and received by the end of business 9th day after a November election in an even-numbered year, or the 6th day after any other election. If the ballot is timely received, it may not be rejected on the basis that it has a late postmark, an unreadable postmark, or no postmark.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.10 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-87 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.12 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-90.2 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.15(e) [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

If a military/overseas voter has properly applied for an absentee ballot, but the ballot has not been received and Election Day is near, then the voter may complete a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) and send it to their County Board of Elections by mail, fax, or e-mail. The FWAB will only count for federal offices.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-258.1 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 20303 [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

In the precinct's voting place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-128 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. People waiting in line to vote at 7:30 p.m. are allowed to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.01 [link]

In the Voting Booth

Are there rules about what materials a voter can and cannot bring into the voting booth?

Voters cannot bring campaign material or political advertisements into the voting booth or the 25 to 50 foot buffer zone surrounding the voting place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.4(a) [link]

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes. Voters may bring into the voting booth their own children, or children in their care, as long as the children are under 18 years old and are accompanied by the voter and under the voter's control.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.3(a)(6) [link]

8 N.C. Admin. Code 10B.0107 [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-5-20)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-226(a2) [link]

State Absentee Ballot Request Form (English) [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

No person may hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity in the early voting polling place or in a 25 to 50 foot buffer zone around the voting place. The county board of elections is required to provide an area adjacent to the buffer zone for each polling place in which people may distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.4 [link]

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

No person may hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity in the early voting polling place or in a 25 to 50 foot buffer zone around the voting place. The county board of elections is required to provide an area adjacent to the buffer zone for each polling place in which people may distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.4 [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

Yes. Voters may wear partisan or candidates' t-shirts, stickers, etc. into the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-5-20)

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

No, digital devices are not permitted.

North Carolina law also prohibits the taking of a photograph, videotape, or any other recording of a "voted official ballot". Additionally, recording of a voter "within the voting enclosure" other than with express permission of the voter and the chief judge of the precinct is prohibited.

Source (confirmed on: 10/17/2016)

NC Gen. Stat. 163-166.3 [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not separately address this issue (see previous question).

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-45 [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Observers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-45 [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

Observers must be registered voters in the precinct for which they are appointed, have good moral character, and cannot be candidates. The chair of each political party in the county may appoint 2 observers to each voting place and an additional 10 at-large observers who may serve at any voting place. However, in a primary election, only the chair of a political party who has candidates on the ballot may make these appointments. Additionally, an unaffiliated candidate or their campaign manager may appoint 2 observers to each voting place where the unaffiliated candidate is on the ballot.

Individuals authorized to appoint observers must submit in writing to the chief judge of each precinct a signed list of the observers appointed to that precinct, except that the list of at-large observers must be submitted to the county director of elections. Individuals authorized to appoint observers must, before 10:00 a.m. on the 5th day before any primary or general election, submit in writing to the chair of the county board of elections two signed copies of a list of observers appointed by them, designating the precinct or at-large status for which each observer is appointed. Before the opening of the voting place on the day of a primary or general election, the chair must deliver one copy of the list to the chief judge for each affected precinct, except that the list of at-large observers must be provided by the county director of elections to the chief judge. The chair will retain the other copy. The chair, or the chief judge and judges for each affected precinct, may for good cause reject any appointee and require that another be appointed. The names of any persons appointed in place of those persons rejected must be furnished in writing to the chief judge of each affected precinct no later than the time for opening the voting place on the day of any primary or general election, either by the chair of the county board of elections or the person making the substitute appointment.

If party chairs appoint observers at one-stop sites, those party chairs must provide a list of the observers appointed before 10:00 a.m. on the 5th day before the observer is to observe. At-large observers may serve at any one-stop site.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-45 [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/14/2016)

N.C. G.S. 163-45(c) [link]

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_163/gs_163-166.3.html [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

An observer cannot campaign at the voting place, impede the voting process, interfere or communicate with voters, or observe any voter in casting a ballot. However, an observer can otherwise make observations and take notes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-45 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under state law, a voter may be given a provisional ballot for any of the following reasons: * The voter's name does not appear on the voter roll * The voter does not have the required identification with them at the polls * An identifiable voter did not provide required information on their voter registration application and did not correct this oversight by Election Day

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.12(c) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.11 [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

Yes, so long as the voter cast their ballot in the correct county.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.11 (out-of-precinct voting) [link]

N.C. S.L. 2013-381 [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 49 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381 and restoring prior version of § 163-166.11) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

For voters who cast a provisional ballot because they did not include required information on their voter registration application and did not fix this oversight by Election Day, the voter must provide the missing information to the county board of elections by 5:00pm on the 9th after a November election in an even-numbered year or 5:00pm on the 6th day after any other election.

Voters who cast a provisional ballot for other reasons do not need to provide additional information to the county board of elections. Their provisional ballots will be counted so long as election officials can confirm their eligibility to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(e) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

At the time a person casts a provisional ballot, election officials will give the person written information explaining how that person can learn whether and to what extent the ballot was counted and, if the ballot was not counted in whole or in part, the reason it was not counted.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.11(4) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

State law requires that only "official ballots" provided by election officials be counted. In "extraordinary circumstances," the county board of elections may, with approval from the State Board of Elections, provide additional official paper ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.7 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.1(a)(1) [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

In "extraordinary circumstances," the county board of elections may, with approval from the State Board of Elections, provide additional official paper ballots.

The county board of elections, working with the State Board of Elections, is required to provide adequate technical support for voting machines.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

8 N.C. Admin. Code 6B.0102(4) [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

Only first-time voters in North Carolina who registered to vote by mail and did not either (1) write on their voter registration application a valid North Carolina driver's license number, state ID card number, or alternatively (2) did not provide a copy of an acceptable ID with their voter registration application. If a first-time voter in North Carolina registered to vote in person, or if they registered to vote by mail but satisfied either (1) or (2) above, then they do not need to show ID when voting. Additionally, voters who are entitled to cast an absentee ballot under federal law, such as voters with disabilities and military and overseas voters, do not need to show ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

Are there any special requirements for first-time voters?

Only first-time voters in North Carolina who registered to vote by mail and did not either (1) write on their voter registration application a valid North Carolina driver's license number, state ID card number, or alternatively (2) did not provide a copy of an acceptable ID with their voter registration application. If a first-time voter in North Carolina registered to vote in person, or if they registered to vote by mail but satisfied either (1) or (2) above, then they do not need to show ID when voting. Additionally, voters who are entitled to cast an absentee ballot under federal law, such as voters with disabilities and military and overseas voters, do not need to show ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

What ID is acceptable?

Only first-time voters who registered to vote by mail and provide sufficient ID when registering to vote must show ID when voting. If a first-time voter who registered to vote by mail wrote on their voter registration application a valid North Carolina driver's license number, state ID card number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number, or if the voter included with their application a copy of one of the below forms of ID, then they do not need to show ID when voting. Otherwise, they must show one of the following forms of ID when casting their ballot in person or include a copy of the ID with their absentee ballot:

  • A current and valid photo ID; or
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows the person's name and address.

Voters who have a right under federal law to cast an absentee ballot do not have to show this ID.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Yes, so long it either (1) is valid, current, and shows the voter's photograph, or (2) is current, was issued by a public (not private) school or college, and shows the voter's name and address.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

A voter may cast a provisional ballot, which will be counted so long as the voter's eligiblity can be confirmed by election officials.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-08-22)

N.C. State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, No. 16-1468, 2016 WL 4053033 (4th Cir. July 29, 2016) (striking down Part 2 of N.C. S.L. 2013-381, as amended by N.C. S.L. 2015-103, and restoring prior rules that did not require all voters to show ID) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21083 [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Any registered voter who lives in the challenged voter's precinct, and any election judge or assistant election judge regardless of where they live.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-87 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-1 [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

A voter's right to vote can be challenged on any of the following grounds:

  • The voter does not live in North Carolina
  • The voter does not live in the county or precinct in which they are registered, unless the voter moved out of the county or precinct less than 30 days before voting
  • The voter is not at least 18 years old
  • The voter has lost their right to vote because they were convicted of a felony and have not had their right to vote restored
  • The voter is dead
  • The voter is not a citizen of the United States
  • The voter is not who they represent themself to be
  • The voter already voted in the election
  • In a primary election, the voter is not a member of the political party whose primary ballot they want to vote
  • The voter does not present any required ID
  • With respect to municipal registration only, that a person is not a resident of the municipality in which the person is registered.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-87 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-85(c) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

Challenges cannot be made indiscriminately and may only be made if the challenger knows, suspects, or reasonably believes that a voter is not eligible to vote. The burden of proof is on the challenger. In the absence of proof, the assumption is that the voter is eligible to vote.

A letter or postal card mailed by returnable mail and returned by the United States Postal Service purportedly because the voter no longer lives at that address or because a forwarding order has expired cannot be used as evidence in a challenge hearing.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-90.1(a) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-88 [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

A challenge is decided at a hearing held by the election judges before the polls close. If the challenged voter insists that they are eligible and proves their identity and address by sworn testimony, one of the election judges will ask the voter to take an oath swearing that they are eligible to vote. If voter refuses to take the oath, or if the election judges conducting the hearing still do not believe that the voter is eligible, the challenge will be sustained, and the voter must vote a "challenged ballot." A challenged ballot will only be considered if the election is contested; in the event of a contested election, the county board of elections may take further evidence before deciding whether to count the challenged ballot. If a challenge is overruled, the voter may vote a regular ballot.

If a challenge is sustained, the county board of elections must cancel that voter's voter registration record and remove the voter from the voter roll. The voter may appeal the decision to sustain the challenge, or the challenger may appeal decision to overturn the challenge, to the county's Superior County within 10 days of the decision.

If a voter is challenged because they no longer live in the correct precinct, and the challenge is sustained, the voter can still vote so long as the voter's former address was in the same county and the voter can prove their new address. However, the voter must go to to voting place in the precinct of their new address, or to a central voting location in the county, to vote a regular ballot; if the voter chooses to vote at their former precinct's voting place, they will have to vote a provisional ballot, and it will count only for the offices and ballot questions that the voter is eligible to vote on in their new precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-88.1 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-88 [link]

What are the restrictions on polling place challenges?

Challenges are permitted on Election Day. Specifically for Election Day challenges, returned mail may not be used as evidence of a change in residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-5-19)

None [link]

None [link]

http://www.projectvote.org/images/publications/Voter%20Caging/PB10_ElectionChallenger2.pdf [link]

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_163/GS_163-87.html [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

State Board of Elections, and its Executive Director

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-26 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.2 [link]

Current official

Kim Westbrook Stratch, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.13(c) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.4(e) [link]

N.C. State Board of Elections website [link]

E-mail

elections.sboe@ncsbe.gov

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-226.3 [link]

N.C. State Board of Elections website [link]

8 N.C. Admin. Code 10B.0107 [link]

Phone

(919) 733-7173

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. State Board of Elections website [link]

North Carolina Voter Registration Application [link]

Address

Mailing Address: PO Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

Physical Address: 441 North Harrington St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. State Board of Elections website [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

County Board of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-33 [link]

What is the county-level election official?

County Board of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-33 [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

County Board of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-284 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. County Board of Elections Information [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Any person may acquire a voter file.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.10 [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.13 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Jackie Blaeske, Office Assistant at NC State Board of Elections, who can be reached by phone at (919) 715-4520.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-226(a2) (absentee voting) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.1B(c) (voter ID - provisional ballot without identification) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 122C-58 (mental incompetency) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-182.5 (voter ID - provisional ballot without identification) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.12(a)(2)(voter ID - reasonable impediment identification types) [link]

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-166.15 (voter ID - reasonable impediment declaration) [link]

SBOE Policy Regarding Access to Public Records [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

If downloaded from an FTP site, the voter file is free. If sent on a CD-ROM, the file costs $25. To request the file through an FTP site, contact Jackie Blaeske (see above question for her contact information); to request the file on a CD-ROM, complete and submit the N.C. Voter Records Request Form, which can be downloaded here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-02-29)

N.C. Voter Records Request Form [link]

SBOE Policy Regarding Access to Public Records [link]

What format is the file available in?

The data is in a comma delimited text file, split into a file for each county. It is provided on a CD.

Source (confirmed on: 2012-8-30)

http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/getdocument.aspx?ID=234 [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

No restriction

Source (confirmed on: 2012-9-12)