Conducting Voter Registration Drives in North Carolina
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.
- 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 — Voters must be 18 years old by the next general election. To pre-register, individuals must be at least 16 years old. Seventeen year-olds may vote in a primary election, as long as they will be 18 years old 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.