§ 163-82.4. Contents of application form.
Overview of Statute
Provides an enumerated list of what is required of an applicant, including general procedure for correction of an applicants form
(a) Information Requested of Applicant.–The form required by G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall request the applicant’s:
(2) Date of birth,
(3) Residence address,
(4) County of residence,
(5) Date of application,
(9) Political party affiliation, if any, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section,
(10) Telephone number (to assist the county board of elections in contacting the voter if needed in processing the application),
(11) Drivers license number or, if the applicant does not have a drivers license number, the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number, and any other information the State Board finds is necessary to enable officials of the county where the person resides to satisfactorily process the application. The form shall require the applicant to state whether currently registered to vote anywhere, and at what address, so that any prior registration can be cancelled. The portions of the form concerning race and ethnicity shall include as a choice any category shown by the most recent decennial federal census to compose at least one percent (1%) of the total population of North Carolina. The county board shall make a diligent effort to complete for the registration records any information requested on the form that the applicant does not complete, but no application shall be denied because an applicant does not state race, ethnicity, gender, or telephone number. The application shall conspicuously state that provision of the applicant’s telephone number is optional. If the county board maintains voter records on computer, the free list provided under this subsection shall include telephone numbers if the county board enters the telephone number into its computer records of voters.
(b) No Drivers License or Social Security Number Issued.–The State Board shall assign a unique identifier number to an applicant for voter registration if the applicant has not been issued either a current and valid drivers license or a social security number. That unique identifier number shall serve to identify that applicant for voter registration purposes.
(c) Notice of Requirements, Attestation, Notice of Penalty, and Notice of Confidentiality.–The form required by G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall contain, in uniform type, the following:
(1) A statement that specifies each eligibility requirement (including citizenship) and an attestation that the applicant meets each such requirement, with a requirement for the signature of the applicant, under penalty of a Class I felony under G.S. 163-275(13).
(2) A statement that, if the applicant declines to register to vote, the fact that the applicant has declined to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.
(3) A statement that, if the applicant does register to vote, the office at which the applicant submits a voter registration application will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes.
(d) Party Affiliation or Unaffiliated Status.–The application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall provide a place for the applicant to state a preference to be affiliated with one of the political parties in G.S. 163-96, or a preference to be an “unaffiliated” voter. Every person who applies to register shall state his preference. If the applicant fails to declare a preference for a party or for unaffiliated status, that person shall be listed as “unaffiliated”, except that if the person is already registered to vote in the county and that person’s registration already contains a party affiliation, the county board shall not change the registrant’s status to “unaffiliated” unless the registrant clearly indicates a desire in accordance with G.S. 163-82.17 for such a change. An unaffiliated registrant shall not be eligible to vote in any political party primary, except as provided in G.S. 163-119, but may vote in any other primary or general election. The application form shall so state.
(e) Citizenship and Age Questions.–Voter registration application forms shall include all of the following:
(1) The following question and statement:
a. “Are you a citizen of the United States of America?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.
b. “If you checked ‘no’ in response to this question, do not submit this form.”
(2) The following question and statement:
a. “Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?” and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant will be 18 years of age or older on election day.
b. “If you checked ‘no’ in response to this question, do not submit this form.”
(f) Correcting Registration Forms.–If the voter fails to complete any required item on the voter registration form but provides enough information on the form to enable the county board of elections to identify and contact the voter, the voter shall be notified of the omission and given the opportunity to complete the form at least by 5:00 P.M. on the day before the county canvass as set in G.S. 163-182.2(b). If the voter corrects that omission within that time and is determined by the county board of elections to be eligible to vote, the board shall permit the voter to vote. If the information is not corrected by election day, the voter shall be allowed to vote a provisional official ballot. If the correct information is provided to the county board of elections by at least 5:00 P.M. on the day before the county canvass, the board shall count any portion of the provisional official ballot that the voter is eligible to vote.
(1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1166, s. 6; 1973, c. 793, s. 27; c. 1223, s. 3; 1975, c. 234, s. 2; 1979, c. 135, s. 1; c. 539, ss. 1-3; c. 797, ss. 1, 2; 1981, c. 222; c. 308, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1999-424, s. 7(c), (d); 1999-453, s. 8(a); 2003-226, s. 9; 2004-127, s. 4; 2005-428, s. 15; 2007-391, s. 20; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 9(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(c); 2017-6, s. 3; S.L. 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)
The enactment of subsec. (d) of this section, then § 163-82.4, as amended by S.L. 2013-381, § 12.1(c), was enjoined by order dated July 29, 2016 in North Carolina State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory, 831.F.3d 204, with the provision in effect prior to amendment by S.L. 2013-381, § 12.1(c), to be in full force. Prior to being rewritten by S.L. 2013-381, subsec. (d) read:
“(d) Citizenship and Age Questions.–Voter registration application forms shall include all of the following:
“(1) The following question and statement:
“a. ‘Are you a citizen of the United States of America?”’ and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is or is not a citizen of the United States.
“b. ‘If you checked ‘no’ in response to this question, do not submit this form.’
“(2) The following questions and statement:>
“a. ‘Will you be 18 years of age on or before election day?’ and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant will be 18 years of age or older on election day.
“b. ‘Are you at least 16 years of age and understand that you must be 18 years of age on or before election day to vote?’ and boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant is at least 16 years of age and understands that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age or older by election day to vote.
“c. If you checked ‘no’ in response to this question, do not submit this form.
“(3) Repealed by Laws 2009-541, § 9(a).”
- Voter Registration
1. Definition for United States
“United States,” used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
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 Official ballot
“Official ballot” means a ballot that has been certified by the State Board of Elections and produced by or with the approval of the county board of elections. The term does not include a sample ballot or a specimen ballot.
4. Definition for Provisional official ballot
“Provisional official ballot” means an official ballot that is voted and then placed in an envelope that contains an affidavit signed by the voter certifying identity and eligibility to vote. Except for its envelope, a provisional official ballot shall not be marked to make it identifiable to the voter.
5. Definition for day
The term “day” means calendar day.
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 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.
8. 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.
9. Definition for person
The term “person” means any business entity, corporation, insurance company, labor union, or professional association.
10. Definition for Ballot
(Effective until January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 – see note) “Ballot” means an instrument on which a voter indicates that voter’s choice for a ballot item so that it may be recorded as a vote for or against a certain candidate or referendum proposal. The term “ballot” may include a paper ballot to be counted by hand, a paper ballot to be counted on an electronic
scanner, the face of a lever voting machine, the image on a direct record electronic unit, or a ballot used on any other voting system.
(Effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 – see note) “Ballot” means an instrument on which a voter indicates that voter’s choice for a ballot item so that it may be recorded as a vote for or against a certain candidate or referendum proposal, and is evidenced by an individual paper document that bears marks made by the voter by hand or through electronic
means, whether preprinted or printed in the voting enclosure.
11. Definition for Office
(4) Office. – The elected office for which the candidate has filed or petitioned.
(2006-155, s. 1; 2006-259, s. 48(a); 2017-6, s. 3.)
12. 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.
13. 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.
North Carolina Cases
Case Name: North Carolina State Conference of NAACP v. McCrory
Citation: 997 F.Supp.2d 322
Federal Circuit Court: 4th Circuit Court
Case PDF: NAACPvMcCrory
Case Summary: Various civil rights organizations failed to make clear showing that they were likely to be irreparably harmed by the North Carolina omnibus election reform law provisions calling for increased poll observers, allowing voters to challenge ballots, eliminating discretion to keep polls open, and precluding preliminary injunction to enjoin implementation of these provisions on their equal protection and twenty-sixth amendment challenges. Specifically the voters brought challenge to early registration cutoff under the Anderson-Burdick balancing test, as it applies to state election procedures. Under thus judicial precedent, the court held no matter how slight the voters burden may appear, it must be justified by relevant and legitimate state interests need sufficient weight to justify the limitation. Here the slight burden imposed by the 25-day cut-off is more than justified by the State's important interest in detecting fraud and ensuring that only properly verified voters have their votes counted at the canvass. Therefore, the Plaintiff's concerns regarding election threats to voting rights did not support a conclusion that additional poll observers and additional measures needed to be taken by the State Board of Elections and their motion to preliminarily enjoin SL 2013-381's elimination of SDR on such basis shall be denied. The United States, various African-American individuals, churches, and civil rights organizations failed to meet their burden in showing of discriminatory intent and thus will not succeed on the merits of their claim that North Carolina omnibus election law provision which eliminated out-of-precinct provisional voting violated the Voting Rights Act (VRA) section prohibiting race or color-based qualifications or prerequisites for voting. Nor did individual young voters present sufficient evidence that they were likely to suffer irreparable harm before trial pursuant to their Twenty-Sixth Amendment challenge to North Carolina’s omnibus election provision as any 17-year-old who would be 18 by election day was able to register even under the challenged provision. Further challenges that the provision eliminating the pre-registration program of 16- and 17-year-olds did not discriminate against young voters nor place targeted hardship on grounds that they would have to expend greater resources to vote, thus was not sufficiently particularized to confer standing as any of the state's 6.5 million registered voters would have had standing to such challenge. Accordingly, without evidence of financial harm or a direct legally congnizable injury, the group of young voters failed to allege a sufficient claim under the Twenty-Sixth Amendment challenges. In conclusion, the manner of proceedings in North Carolina's General Assembly leading up to enactment of an omnibus election reform act provision eliminating same-day registration did not raise strong inferences of discriminatory intent required to support these challenges asserted by the United States and various African-American individuals, churches, and civil rights organizations under the Voting Rights Act which prohibits race- or color-based qualifications or prerequisites for voting.