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National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA)

The NVRA is a federal statute that mandated dramatic changes to states' voter registration procedures by January 1, 1995. North Carolina met the deadline and implemented all aspects of the Act.

The NVRA has often been called the "motor voter" bill because it required driver license offices to take applications for voter registration. It also included other agencies and a mail registration program. It affects the entire process of registration. It created new opportunities for historically under represented citizen groups to make initial application to register to vote.

Certain groups that may not have had the opportunity to apply to register to vote were offered the voter registration service when applying for services at a number of state agencies.

North Carolina Agencies required to offer the opportunity to register to vote are:
  • Division of Services for the Blind
  • Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Division of Medical Assistance
  • Division of Public Health/WIC
  • Division of Social Services
  • Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • Employment Security Commission
  • Assistance to Agency Personnel
  • Purpose of NVRA

Toll Free Number: 866-522-4723

Email: nvra@ncsbe.gov

  • Increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote
  • Enhance the participation of eligible citizens who register to vote
  • Protect the integrity of the electoral process
  • Ensure that accurate and current voter registration rolls are maintained

NVRA Process for DSS: Frequently Asked Questions

 

If a client mails in a document or application that contained the NVRA question, and the client has checked that he or she DOES NOT wish to register to vote (declines registration services), are agencies required to mail the client a voter registration application?
No.
For in-person transactions, we understand that agencies are supposed to offer every covered applicant a voter registration application, even if the applicant declines voter registration services. Are agencies also required to document the fact that the client took the form?
No. The client’s preference with regards to voter registration services will be reflected by the client’s either checking or leaving blank the relevant NVRA question on an agency’s public assistance application. For example, the DHHS has included the NVRA question, the Yes/No checkboxes, and the prominent statement on the state’s Medicaid and FNS applications. Because every covered applicant will be offered a voter registration application, documentation of the client’s preference – whether positive or negative – will indicate that the form was offered.
What should an agency do if the client refuses to accept the voter registration application?
Explain to the client that there is important information on the back of the form concerning voter registration and that he or she may take the form home for future use. Even if the client refuses the form, the fact that the client declined voter registration services will be reflected in the NC FAST system based on how the client answered the NVRA checkboxes (checked “no” or left blank) on the services application.
If DSS agencies are no longer required to offer a separate preference form, how will agencies be able to prove that voter registration services were offered to a client?
If DSS agencies are no longer required to offer a separate preference form, how will agencies be able to prove that voter registration services were offered to a client? The client’s preference with regards to voter registration services is now being captured in the NC FAST system and on DHHS’ Medicaid and FNS applications. Local agencies should ensure that other services applications include the NVRA question; Yes/No checkboxes; and the prominent statement listed below.
What is the “NVRA information” that should be on a services application?

The following NVRA information must be placed on a services application:

"If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to register to vote here today? ☐ Yes ☐No

IF YOU DO NOT CHECK EITHER BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME.

If you want to register to vote or to update your registration, you can complete a voter registration form at www.ncsbe.gov/NVRA/01, or ask your caseworker for a voter registration form.

Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.

If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application form in private.

If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, your right to privacy in deciding whether to register or in applying to register to vote, or your right to choose your own political party or other political preference, you may file a complaint with the North Carolina State Board of Elections, PO Box 27255, Raleigh NC 27611-7255, or you may call the toll-free number, 1-866-522-4723."

What is the NVRA procedure regarding daycare and energy programs?
Any programs under Article 2 of Chapter 108A of the General Statutes or under Article 13 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes are covered under the NVRA.
If an agency presents clients a voter registration application at the front desk, is the agency required to log each person receiving an application?

No, the agency need only keep a log for remote transactions (phone or mail).

Remember, for in-person transactions, a client’s “preference” is captured in the NC FAST system and on the services application.

Are agencies supposed to review public assistance applications that are mailed to an agency to determine whether the applicant would like to register to vote?
Yes. If the applicant checked “Yes” to the NVRA question, mail a voter registration application to the client and log this information on a Remote Transaction Sheet.
If an agency receives returned mail with a new address indicated by the postal service, not the client, should a voter registration application be sent to the client, even though the client didn’t report the address change?
If you contact the client to ask for address confirmation, be sure to ask whether an address update is needed for voter registration purposes. If you make contact by mail, please enclose a voter registration application in the mailing.
If a voter registration application is mailed to a client, how should this be documented?
Log this information on the Remote Transaction Sheet.
Instead of using a paper Remote Transaction Sheet, can this information be logged electronically? Like in a custom database or on a spreadsheet?
Yes. The Remote Transaction Sheet was created to help agencies track how many applications are mailed or emailed to a client. Agencies may use the administrative method that is most efficient for them, provided that all necessary information is tracked.
Should the Remote Transaction Sheet be mailed to the county boards of elections?
No. Just send the county boards of elections a total of the number of remote transactions completed each week.
How long should an agency retain Remote Transaction Sheets?
We recommend that the Remote Transaction Sheets be kept for two federal election periods (four years).