Any person, group, organization, committee, campaign, political party, employer, or any other entity may conduct a voter registration drive. There is no special license or training necessary, nor is there any requirement to register as a political action committee in order to conduct a voter registration drive.
The decision to conduct a voter registration drive is an important one. Voter registration is fundamental to elections. Assisting qualified citizens in becoming registered voters and involving them in the democratic process is a worthy cause and carries with it certain responsibilities. Voter registration drive organizers and participants must adhere to the following guidelines:
· You must provide individuals with current, state-approved voter registration forms. These forms may be ordered from the State Board of Elections (if quantities are over 500) by filling out and signing a NC Voter Registration Supplies Order Form and faxing it to the number on the form or picked up from county boards of elections’ offices (if quantities are below 500). Drive organizers should NOT make copies of the voter registration form available on our website.
· You must refrain from coercing, threatening, or intimidating any person engaged in the registration or voting process.
· You must refrain from altering any information placed on the form without the permission of the person registering.
· If assisting a person in filling out a voter registration form, you must place information on the form that accurately reflects the intent and direction of the person.
· You should not offer a person a voter registration form that has been premarked unless the person receiving the form has requested the premarking.
· You must refrain from giving a partially completed voter registration form to a person for registering, unless that person is made aware of the information already on the form and the person registering does not object to that information. An unaltered blank registration form must be provided to the registrant if requested.
· You may not refuse to accept completed voter registration forms.
· You are encouraged to submit completed voter registration forms and any accompanying documentation to the county board of elections in the county in which the applicant resides within 5 business days of receiving the forms, but certainly, no later than the 25th day before an election. Failure to do so could be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Voter registration drives organizers should also be familiar with the qualifications to vote. The qualifications to vote (and to register), are based on:
· CITIZENSHIP — Applicants must be U.S. Citizens by birth or naturalization. Permanent residents or individuals who possess legal or lawful presence documents are not qualified to vote.
· AGE — Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the date of the general election, or at least 16 years of age to preregister to vote. 17 year-olds may register and vote in a primary election, as long as they will be 18 years of age on or before the day of the general election.
· RESIDENCY — Applicants may register and vote only in the county in which they reside.
· NOT SERVING A FELONY SENTENCE — If convicted of a felony, an individual may register to vote only after completing his/her sentence, including probation or parole. Once released from custody, probation or parole, North Carolina automatically restores an individual’s citizenship rights and he/she is eligible to register to vote and vote again.
The required fields of information on a voter registration application are:
· Citizenship and Age checkboxes
· Full Name
· Date of Birth
· Address (need physical address and mailing address, if applicable)
Any voter registration forms completed by new registrants at voter registration drives or sent by mail must contain the applicant’s North Carolina driver license number or DMV-issued identification card. If none of these are provided, the registrant shall provide the last four digits of his/her social security number. If the registrant cannot supply an identification number, he/she may still register, but must be prepared to show identification at the polling place the first time he/she presents to vote.
Accepted forms of identification include:
· A copy of a current and valid photo identification such as DMV-issued ID or Driver’s License Number
· A copy of a document that shows the name and address of the voter, such as:
· Current utility bill,
· Bank statement,
· Government check,
· Vehicle registration,
· Fishing/hunting /concealed weapon’s license,
· Other government document.
If you realize that a registrant has not completed the voter registration form, DO NOT complete the form for them. The “incomplete” form should not be altered by you, but should be given to the county board of elections AS IS. The county boards of elections have procedures in place to contact the applicant to retrieve the missing information. Also, do not place sticky notes, flags on any “incomplete” form to alert the county board to these deficiencies. Voter registration applications are scanned into the voter registration database system prior to any data entry and these notes are simply removed by the county board staff prior to scanning.
Voter registration forms can be obtained from your local county board of elections office. Orders require the completion of a request form:
The form may be mailed, faxed or scanned and emailed to the State Board of Elections.
NC State Board of Elections
P.O. Box 27255
Raleigh, NC 27611
We do not require unused forms to be returned. However, these forms are printed at a cost to the state. If you do have a large number of forms that you do not plan to use, please return them to your local county board of elections office or to the State Board of Elections.