Note: This press release is updated to clarify information about providing assistance to registrants.
With 2021 municipal elections in full swing and 2022 in clear sight, the State Board of Elections is reminding voter registration drive organizers and volunteers of best practices for conducting voter registration drives.
The State Board also is reminding prospective voters of steps they can take to ensure their registration application is complete and can be processed successfully.
The regular voter registration deadline for the November 2, 2021 municipal elections is Friday, October 8.
“When conducting voter registration drives, organizers must follow guidelines set by statute and the State Board,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board. “Also, we want aspiring voters to make sure they navigate the process correctly so county boards can successfully register them.”
For Prospective Voters
Registrants completing applications should make sure their writing is legible and that the application contains all the required information so it can be processed in a timely manner.
When completing a voter registration application, the following fields are required:
- Attestation of citizenship and age (checkboxes)
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Address (provide residential and mailing addresses, if applicable)
- Voter’s Signature – the voter must sign or make their mark.
Note: A voter may receive assistance upon request, but the voter must sign the form.
For Organizers of Voter Registration Drives
For more information, organizers may visit Hosting Voter Registration Drives.
To request voter registration applications for a registration drive, fill out the Voter Registration Drive Supplies Request Form.
When conducting a voter registration drive, you must adhere to the following:
- Do not compensate or be compensated for the number of registration forms collected/submitted. Quota systems in voter registration drives are illegal and subject to a class 2 misdemeanor. N.C.G.S. § 163-274(15)
- Do not tell voters they must re-register to vote. This is incorrect. Refer them to their county board of elections if they have questions about their voting status or eligibility.
- Do not alter the form once the voter has finished marking it. Any incomplete form should be given to the county board of elections as is. Any assistance filling out the form must be in the voter’s presence and must be at the voter’s request.
- Do not coerce a person into marking a party affiliation other than what the voter desires.
- Do not offer a person a voter registration form that has been pre-marked. This is only allowed if the voter requested the pre-marking.
- Do not sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or deliver a form upon payment.
Once the voter registration drive is over, all voter registration forms — both complete and incomplete — must be sent to the county board of elections in which the voter resides. Organizers should return unused forms if they are no longer needed.
Organizers should submit completed voter registration forms within five business days of receipt but no later than the 25th day before an election. Organizers should also maintain a log of staff and volunteers to easily trace who has collected and submitted which registration forms.
Logs should contain the name of the person assigned to a batch and contact information to include a phone number, mailing address, and email. This information should be legible.
Organizers should not keep completed or partially completed voter registration forms in any form for any purpose. It is illegal to retain a voter’s personal identifiable information (PII) unless you are an election official, or the information is fully redacted under N.C.G.S. § 163-274(16). This information includes:
- Registrant’s signature
- Partial or full Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license number
- Email address
- Identity of the public agency which the registrant registered (N.C.G.S. § 163-82.20)
For a printable version of voter registration drive tips, please see the Voter Registration Drive Information Chart (PDF).