Hosting Voter Registration Drives

Organizing a Voter Registration Drive

The decision to conduct a voter registration drive is an important one. Voter registration is fundamental to elections and the democratic process. While helping people register to vote is vital, organizers must follow North Carolina law.

Any individual, group, or organization that desires to conduct a voter registration drive may do so. No special training is required. Organizers and participants should carefully follow the requirements as outlined in the Voter Registration Drive Information Chart below.

Find more information, including instructions for requesting applications, below the chart. 

 

Voter Registration Drive Information Chart

Qualifications to Vote

Per the Qualifications to Vote Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-55: 

Do

A voter must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Live in the county of registration and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to an election.
  • Be 18 years old or be 18 at the time of the general election, or be 16 or 17 years old to preregister to vote.
  • Not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction.

For questions about eligibility, the voter should contact their county board of elections.

If in violation: Per the Certain Acts Declared Felonies Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-275, violations of this statute shall be a Class I felony, subject to a fine and up to 24 months imprisonment.

 

Completing Voter Registration Forms

Per the Contents of Application Form Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-82.4:

Do

The voter is required to complete the following fields: 

  • Citizenship and Age (checkboxes)
  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address (provide a physical and mailing address, if applicable)
  • Voter’s Signature – the voter must sign or make their mark.

A voter may receive assistance upon request, but the voter must sign the form.

Do Not

  • 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. Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute 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. Only allowed if the voter requested the pre-marking.
  • Do not sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or condition its delivery upon payment.

If in violation: Acceptance of Application Forms Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-82.6(a) and (b) – Violations of this statute shall be a class 2 misdemeanor, subject to a fine and up to 60 days of imprisonment.

 

Returning Voter Registration Forms

Per the Acceptance of Application Forms Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-82.6(a) and (b): 

Do

  • All voter registration forms — both complete and incomplete — must be sent to the county board of elections in which the voter resides. Please also return unused forms if they are no longer needed.
  • Submit completed voter registration forms within 5 business days of receipt but no later than the 25th day before an election.
  • Maintain a log of staff/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.

Do Not

Do not keep, retain or store 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 the Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-274(16). This information includes:

If in violation: Per the Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-274(16) – Violations of this statute shall be a class 2 misdemeanor, subject to a fine and up to 60 days of imprisonment.

 

More Information

Tab/Accordion Item

If you plan to conduct a voter registration drive, please complete the Voter Registration Drive Supplies Request Form.

Notes:

  • County boards of elections are able to provide voter registration supplies to drive organizers in limited quantities (less than 1,000 blank forms).
  • Drive organizers who desire a larger quantity should request the forms directly from the State Board of Elections.
  • Maintain a log of staff/volunteers to track the assignment and collection of registration forms. Logs should contain names and contact information to include telephone and email addresses.

Violations of the Acceptance of Application Forms Statute N.C.G.S. §163-82.6(a) and (b) shall be a class 2 misdemeanor and subject to a fine and imprisonment.

The following fields on a voter registration form are required:

  • Citizenship and Age (checkboxes)
  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address (need physical address and mailing address, if applicable)
  • Signature
  • A voter may receive assistance upon request, but the voter must sign or make their mark.
  • 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, unless the voter has requested the pre-marking.
  • 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 under the Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-274(15).
  • Do not tell voters they must re-register to vote. Refer them to their county board of elections if they have questions about eligibility.
  • Do not sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or condition its delivery upon payment.
  • Do not alter, add notes or complete any section of the form for a voter. Incomplete forms should be given to the county board of elections as is.

Violations of the Acceptance of Application Forms Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-82.6(d) and the Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-274(16) shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor and subject to a fine and imprisonment.

  • All voter registration forms—complete and incomplete—must be sent to the county board of elections in which the voter resides. Please also return unused forms if they are no longer needed to the county board of elections office or the State Board of Elections.
  • Submit completed voter registration forms within 5 business days of receipt but no later than the 25th day before an election.
  • Do not keep or store completed or partially completed voter registration forms that contain Personal Identifiable Information (PII) unless you are an election official or this information is fully redacted under the Certain Acts Declared Misdemeanors Statute N.C.G.S. § 163-274(16). This information includes:

If unable to determine the county board of elections, forms may be mailed to or dropped off at the State Board of Elections.

Mailing address:

NC State Board of Elections
PO Box 27255
Raleigh NC 27611-7255

Physical address:

NC State Board of Elections
Dobbs Building
Third Floor
430 N Salisbury St
6400 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27603-1362

Any applicant who submits a voter registration application at a voter registration drive and does not receive a voter registration card in the mail within two weeks of submission, should notify their county board of elections or the State Board of Elections immediately.