§ 163-82.10. Official record of voter registration.
Overview of Statute
Section provides the contents, provided mediums, and oversight responsibilities of the official voter registration list.
(a) Official Record.–The State voter registration system is the official voter registration list for the conduct of all elections in the State. The State Board and the county board of elections may keep copies of voter registration data, including voter registration applications, in any medium and format expressly approved by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources pursuant to standards and conditions established by the Department and mutually agreed to by the Department and the State Board. A completed and signed registration application form, if available, described in G.S. 163-82.3, once approved by the county board of elections, becomes backup to the official registration record of the voter.
(a1) Personal Identifying Information.–Full or partial social security numbers, dates of birth, the identity of the public agency at which the voter registered under G.S. 163-82.20, any electronic mail address submitted under this Article, Article 20, or Article 21A of this Chapter, photocopies of identification for voting, and drivers license numbers, whether held by the State Board or a county board of elections, are confidential and shall not be considered public records and subject to disclosure to the general public under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. Cumulative data based on those items of information may be publicly disclosed as long as information about any individual cannot be discerned from the disclosed data. Disclosure of information in violation of this subsection shall not give rise to a civil cause of action. This limitation of liability does not apply to the disclosure of information in violation of this subsection as a result of gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable.
(a2) Voter Signatures.–The signature of the voter, either on the paper application or an electronically captured image of it, whether held by the State Board or a county board of elections, may be viewed by the public but may not be copied or traced except by election officials for election administration purposes. Any such copy or tracing is not a public record.
(b) Paperless, Instant Electronic Transfer.–The application described in G.S. 163-82.3 may be either a paper hard copy or an electronic document.
(c) Access to Registration Records.–Upon request by that person, the county board of elections shall provide to any person a list of the registered voters of the county or of any precinct or precincts in the county. The county board may furnish selective lists according to party affiliation, gender, race, date of registration, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts, or any other reasonable category. No list produced under this section shall contain a voter’s date of birth. However, lists may be produced according to voters’ ages. Both the following shall apply to all counties:
(1) The county board of elections shall make the voter registration information available to the public on electronic or magnetic medium. For purposes of this section, “electronic or magnetic medium” means any of the media in use by the State Board of Elections at the time of the request.
(2) Information requested on electronic or magnetic medium shall contain the following: voter name, county voter identification number, residential address, mailing address, sex, race, age but not date of birth, party affiliation, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and any other district information available, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts, or any other reasonable category.
The county board shall require each person to whom a list is furnished to reimburse the board for the actual cost incurred in preparing it, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. Actual cost for the purpose of this section shall not include the cost of any equipment or any imputed overhead expenses. When furnishing information under this subsection to a purchaser on a magnetic medium provided by the county board or the purchaser, the county board may impose a service charge of up to twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
(d) Free Lists.–A county board shall provide, upon written request, one free list of all the registered voters in the county to the State chair of each political party and to the county chair of each political party once in every odd-numbered year, once during the first six calendar months of every even-numbered year, and once during the latter six calendar months of every even-numbered year. Each free list shall include the name, address, gender, age but not date of birth, race, political affiliation, voting history, precinct, precinct name, precinct identification code, congressional district, senate district, representative district, and, where applicable, county commissioner district, city governing board district, fire district, soil and water conservation district, and voter history including primary, general, and special districts of each registered voter. All free lists shall be provided as soon as practicable on one of any electronic or magnetic media, but no later than 30 days after written request. Each State party chair shall provide the information on the media received from the county boards or a copy of the media containing the data itself to candidates of that party who request the data in writing. As used in this section, “political party” means a political party as defined in G.S. 163-96.
(e) Exception for Address of Certain Registered Voters.–Notwithstanding subsections (c) and (d) of this section, if a registered voter submits to the county board of elections a copy of a protective order without attachments, if any, issued to that person under G.S. 50B-3 or a lawful order of any court of competent jurisdiction restricting the access or contact of one or more persons with a registered voter or a current and valid Address Confidentiality Program authorization card issued pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15C of the General Statutes, accompanied by a signed statement that the voter has good reason to believe that the physical safety of the voter or a member of the voter’s family residing with the voter would be jeopardized if the voter’s address were open to public inspection, that voter’s address is a public record but shall be kept confidential as long as the protective order remains in effect or the voter remains a certified program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program. That voter’s name, precinct, and the other data contained in that voter’s registration record shall remain a public record. That voter’s signed statement submitted under this subsection is a public record but shall be kept confidential as long as the protective order remains in effect or the voter remains a certified program participant in the Address Confidentiality Program. It is the responsibility of the voter to provide the county board with a copy of the valid protective order in effect or a current and valid Address Confidentiality Program authorization card issued pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15C of the General Statutes. The voter’s actual address shall be used for any election-related purpose by any board of elections. That voter’s address shall be available for inspection by a law enforcement agency or by a person identified in a court order, if inspection of the address by that person is directed by that court order. It shall not be a violation of this section if the address of a voter who is participating in the Address Confidentiality Program is discovered by a member of the public in public records disclosed by a county board of elections prior to December 1, 2001. Addresses required to be kept confidential by this section shall not be made available to the jury commission under the provisions of G.S. 9-2.
(1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 22, 25; 1975, c. 12; c. 395; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1242; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s.1; c. 308, s. 1; c. 656; 1983, c. 218, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; c. 472, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 688, s. 2; 2001-396, s. 1; 2002-171, s. 8; 2003-226, ss. 2, 3; 2003-278, s. 6; 2004-127, s. 17(c); 2005-428, s. 10(a), (b); 2007-391, s. 19; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 12; 2011-182, s. 9; 2015-241, s. 14.30(s); 2017-6, s. 3; S.L. 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b); S.L. 2019-239, s. 1.1(c).)
1. Definition for individual
The term “individual” means a single individual or more than one individual.
2. Definition for political party
The term “political party” means any political party organized or operating in this State, whether or not that party is recognized under the provisions of G.S. 163A-950. A special definition of “political party organization” that applies only in Part 2 of this Article is set forth in G.S. 163A-1475. An affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for this Article as set forth in G.S. 163A-1416 and G.S. 163A-1417.
3. Definition for day
The term “day” means calendar day.
4. Definition for city
The term “city” means any incorporated city, town, or village.
5. Definition for made
A contribution is “made” during regular session if the check or other instrument is dated during the session, or if the check or other instrument is delivered to the limited contributee during session, or if the limited contributor pledges during the session to deliver the check or other instrument at a later time.
6. Definition for board
The term “board” means the State Board with respect to all candidates for State, legislative, and judicial offices and the county board of elections with respect to all candidates for county and municipal offices. The term means the State Board with respect to all statewide referenda and the county board of elections conducting all local referenda.
7. Definition for media
The term “communications media” or “media” means broadcasting stations, carrier current stations, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, outdoor advertising facilities, billboards, newspaper inserts, and any person or individual whose business is polling public opinion, analyzing or predicting voter behavior or voter preferences. Special definitions of “print media,” “radio,” and “television” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
8. Definition for Board
Board. – Any State board, commission, council, committee, task force,
authority, or similar public body, however denominated, created by statute or
executive order, as determined and designated by the State Board, except for
those public bodies that have only advisory authority.
9. Definition for State
“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
10. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
11. Definition for election
The term “election” means any general or special election, a first or second primary, a run-off election, or an election to fill a vacancy. The term “election” shall not include any local or statewide referendum.
12. Definition for Election
“Election” means the event in which voters cast votes in ballot items concerning proposals or candidates for office in this State or the United States. The term includes primaries, general elections, referenda, and special elections.
13. Definition for candidate
The term “candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has taken positive action for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination, retention, or election to public office. Examples of positive action include any of the following:
a. Filing a notice of candidacy, filing a notice to be retained, or a petition requesting to be a candidate.
b. Being certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy.
c. Otherwise qualifying as a candidate in a manner authorized by law.
d. Making a public announcement of a definite intent to run for public office in a particular election.
e. Receiving funds or making payments or giving the consent for anyone else to receive funds or transfer anything of value for the purpose of bringing about that individual’s nomination or election to office. Transferring anything of value includes incurring an obligation to transfer anything of value. Status as a candidate for the purpose of this Article continues if the individual is receiving contributions to repay loans or cover a deficit or is making expenditures to satisfy obligations from an election already held. Special definitions of “candidate” and “candidate campaign committee” that apply only in Part 2 of this Article are set forth in G.S. 163A-1475.
14. Definition for Candidate
“Candidate” means any individual who, with respect to a public office listed in G.S. 163A-1411(80), has filed a notice of candidacy, notice of retention, or a petition requesting to be a candidate, or has been certified as a nominee of a political party for a vacancy, or has otherwise qualified as a candidate in a manner authorized by law, or has filed a statement of organization under G.S. 163A-1412 and is required to file periodic financial disclosure statements under G.S. 163A-1418.