The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before the date of an election. The voter registration application must be received by the applicant’s county boards of elections by this date. If an application is received after the deadline, the application may still be timely if it was mailed and it is postmarked on or before the voter registration deadline; otherwise, the application will not be processed until after the election. Persons who register at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles or another voter registration agency will be considered registered as of the date the application is given to the agency. As long as this date is on or before the voter registration deadline, then the application will be deemed timely for an upcoming election.
Persons who are not registered in a county may register to vote during the one-stop early voting period. This process is called “Same-Day Registration.”
Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. A voter attests to her eligibility by completing a Voter Registration Application and affixing her signature under penalty of a Class I felony, after which she must prove her residence by presenting any of the following showing the voter’s current name and current address:
- North Carolina driver’s license;
- Other photo identification issued by a government agency;
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address; OR
- A current college/university photo identification card paired with a current roster prepaired by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.
Any government-issued photo identification card is acceptable, so long as the card bears the registrant’s current name and current address. Such cards may be expired, but the name and address must be current.
A student residing in a campus housing facility may prove his residency by presenting, in either hardcopy or electronic format, any document originating with the educational institution and containing the student’s name and on-campus housing address or facility name (e.g., “Jones Hall”). Acceptable documents may be issued by either public or private educational institutions and include correspondence, invoice, transcript, or a print-out or screen shot from any official registration or housing portal displaying the student’s name and on-campus housing address. Alternatively, the educational institution may voluntarily provide elections officials with a list of all students residing in a particular campus housing facility, which may be referenced in conjunction with a valid student photo identification card presented by the registrant. Any such list must be current at the time of use and must display individual facility information for each on-campus resident to ensure the student is properly registered at the appropriate address. Lists may not be used if they do not differentiate between residents at different campus housing facilities. Educational institutions may omit the names of individuals known to be ineligible based on citizenship status (e.g., exchange students holding student visas). The roster may be used as proof of a student’s on-campus residency only if the registrant presents a valid student photo identification card showing the student’s current name as it appears on the registration roster.
Within two business days of the person’s registration, the county board of elections will verify the registrant’s driver license or social security number, update the voter registration database, search for possible duplicate registrations, and proceed to verify the registrant’s address by mail. The registrant’s vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that he or she is not qualified to vote.