North Carolina Glossary

GS 163-226. Who may vote an absentee ballot. 
(a) Who May Vote Absentee Ballot; Generally. - Any qualified voter of the State may vote by absentee ballot in a statewide primary, general, or special election on constitutional amendments, referenda or bond proposals, and any qualified voter of a county is authorized to vote by absentee ballot in any primary or election conducted by the county board of elections, in the manner provided in this Article. 
(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 2001-337, s. 1, effective January 1, 2002. 
(a2) Annual Request by Person With Sickness or Physical Disability. - If the applicant so requests and reports in the application that the voter has a sickness or physical disability that is expected to last the remainder of the calendar year, the application shall constitute a request for an absentee ballot for all of the primaries and elections held during the calendar year when the application is received. 
(b) Absentee Ballots; Exceptions. - Notwithstanding the authority contained in G.S. 163-226(a), absentee ballots shall not be permitted in fire district elections. 
(c) The Term "Election". - As used in this Subchapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the term "election" includes a general, primary, second primary, runoff election, bond election, referendum, or special election. 
(d) The Term "Verifiable Legal Guardian." - An individual appointed guardian under Chapter 35A of the General Statutes. For a corporation appointed as a guardian under that Chapter, the corporation may submit a list of 10 named individuals to the State Board of Elections who may act for that corporation under this Article. (1939, c. 159, s. 1; 1963, c. 457, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; c. 952, s. 1; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; c. 1018; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1979, c. 140, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 561, s. 1; c. 734, s. 5; 1999-455, s. 1; 2001-337, s. 1; 2001-507, s. 1; 2013-381, s. 4.5.) 
 
GS 163-226.1. Absentee voting in primary. 
A qualified voter may vote by absentee ballot in a partisan primary provided the qualified voter is affiliated, at the time the qualified voter makes application for absentee ballots, with the political party in whose primary the qualified voter wishes to vote, except that an unaffiliated voter may vote in a party primary if permitted under G.S. 163-119. The official registration records of the county in which the voter is registered shall be proof of whether the qualified voter is affiliated with a political party and of the party, if any, with which the qualified voter is affiliated. (1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1999-455, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-226.2. Absentee voting in municipal elections. 
Absentee voting by qualified voters residing in a municipality shall be in accordance with the authorization specified in G.S. 163-302. (1977, c. 469, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-226.3. Certain acts declared felonies. 
(a) Any person who shall, in connection with absentee voting in any election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful: 
(1) For any person except the voter's near relative or the voter's verifiable legal guardian to assist the voter to vote an absentee ballot when the voter is voting an absentee ballot other than under the procedure described in G.S. 163-227.2; provided that if there is not a near relative or legal guardian available to assist the voter, the voter may request some other person to give assistance; 
(2) For any person to assist a voter to vote an absentee ballot under the absentee voting procedure authorized by G.S. 163-227.2 except as provided in that section; 
(3) For a voter who votes an absentee ballot under the procedures authorized by G.S. 163-227.2 to vote that voter's absentee ballot outside of the voting booth or private room provided to the voter for that purpose in or adjacent to the office of the county board of elections or at the additional site provided by G.S. 163-227.2(f1), or to receive assistance except as provided in G.S. 163-227.2; 
(4) For any owner, manager, director, employee, or other person, other than the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, to (i) make a written request pursuant to G.S. 163-230.1 or (ii) sign an application or certificate as a witness, on behalf of a registered voter, who is a patient in any hospital, clinic, nursing home or rest home in this State or for any owner, manager, director, employee, or other person other than the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, to mark the voter's absentee ballot or assist such a voter in marking an absentee ballot. This subdivision does not apply to members, employees, or volunteers of the county board of elections, if those members, employees, or volunteers are working as part of a multipartisan team trained and authorized by the county board of elections to assist voters with absentee ballots. Each county board of elections shall train and authorize such teams, pursuant to procedures which shall be adopted by the State Board of Elections. If neither the voter's near relative nor a verifiable legal guardian is available to assist the voter, and a multipartisan team is not available to assist the voter within seven calendar days of a telephonic request to the county board of elections, the voter may obtain such assistance from any person other than (i) an owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; (ii) an individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; (iii) an individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office; or (iv) an individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office. None of the persons listed in (i) through (iv) of this subdivision may sign the application or certificate as a witness for the patient. 
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 583, s. 8. 
(6) For any person to take into that person's possession for delivery to a voter or for return to a county board of elections the absentee ballot of any voter, provided, however, that this prohibition shall not apply to a voter's near relative or the voter's verifiable legal guardian; 
(7) Except as provided in subsections (1), (2), (3) and (4) of this section, G.S. 163-231(a), and G.S. 163-227.2(e), for any voter to permit another person to assist the voter in marking that voter's absentee ballot, to be in the voter's presence when a voter votes an absentee ballot, or to observe the voter mark that voter's absentee ballot. 
(b) The State Board of Elections or a county board of elections, upon receipt of a sworn affidavit from any qualified voter of the State or the county, as the case may be, attesting to first-person knowledge of any violation of subsection (a) of this section, shall transmit that affidavit to the appropriate district attorney, who shall investigate and prosecute any person violating subsection (a). (1979, c. 799, s. 4; 1983, c. 331, s. 2; 1985, c. 563, s. 4; 1987, c. 565, s. 7; c. 583, ss. 8, 10; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1999-455, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 5(b); 2007-391, s. 29(a); 2013-381, s. 4.6(a); 2014-111, s. 15(a).) 
 
GS 163-227.2. Alternate procedures for requesting application for absentee ballot; "one-stop" voting procedure in board office. 
(a) Any voter eligible to vote by absentee ballot under G.S. 163-226 may request an application for absentee ballots, complete the application, and vote under the provisions of this section. 
(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 2001-337, s. 2, effective January 1, 2002. 
(b) Not earlier than the second Thursday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, in which a voter seeks to vote and not later than 1:00 P.M. on the last Saturday before that election, the voter shall appear in person only at the office of the county board of elections, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section. A county board of elections shall conduct one-stop voting on the last Saturday before the election until 1:00 P.M. That voter shall enter the voting enclosure at the board office through the appropriate entrance and shall at once state his or her name and place of residence to an authorized member or employee of the board and present photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13. In a primary election, the voter shall also state the political party with which the voter affiliates and in whose primary the voter desires to vote, or if the voter is an unaffiliated voter permitted to vote in the primary of a particular party under G.S. 163-119, the voter shall state the name of the authorizing political party in whose primary he wishes to vote. The board member or employee to whom the voter gives this information shall announce the name and residence of the voter in a distinct tone of voice. After examining the registration records, an employee of the board shall state whether the person seeking to vote is duly registered. If the voter is found to be registered that voter may request that the authorized member or employee of the board furnish the voter with an application form as specified in G.S. 163-227. The voter shall complete the application in the presence of the authorized member or employee of the board, and shall deliver the application to that person. 
(b1) Until the deadline for submission of requests for absentee ballots provided in G.S. 163-230.1, any voter who fails to present an eligible form of photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13 shall be notified of the option to complete a written request form for an absentee ballot at that one-stop absentee voting location. The county board of elections shall notify the voter of each of the following: 
(1) The option to request an absentee ballot to vote in that election, whether requested at that one-stop absentee voting location or as provided in G.S. 163-230.2. 
(2) The instructions for completing the absentee ballot request in accordance with G.S. 163-230.1, along with the deadlines for returning the absentee ballot. 
(3) The means by which the voter may transmit the executed ballot to the county board of elections as provided in G.S. 163-231, including through delivery in person to an election official at a one-stop voting location. 
Upon receiving notice pursuant to this subsection, a voter shall sign a form acknowledging that the voter was notified of the option to request and vote an absentee ballot. The list of names of those voters who signed an acknowledgment is a public record. 
(c) If the application is properly filled out, the authorized member or employee shall enter the voter's name in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued and shall furnish the voter with the ballots to which the application for absentee ballots applies. The voter thereupon shall vote in accordance with subsection (e) of this section. 
All actions required by this subsection shall be performed in the office of the board of elections, except that the voting may take place in an adjacent room as provided by subsection (e) of this section. The application under this subsection shall be signed in the presence of the chair, member, director of elections of the board, or full-time employee, authorized by the board who shall sign the application and certificate as the witness and indicate the official title held by him or her. Notwithstanding G.S. 163-231(a), in the case of this subsection, only one witness shall be required on the certificate. 
(d) Only the chairman, member, employee, or director of elections of the board shall keep the voter's application for absentee ballots in a safe place, separate and apart from other applications and container-return envelopes. If the voter's application for absentee ballots is disapproved by the board, the board shall so notify the voter stating the reason for disapproval by first-class mail addressed to the voter at that voter's residence address and at the address shown in the application for absentee ballots; and the board shall enter a challenge under G.S. 163-89. 
(e) The voter shall vote that voter's absentee ballot in a voting booth in the office of the county board of elections, and the county board of elections shall provide a voting booth for that purpose, provided however, that the county board of elections may in the alternative provide a private room for the voter adjacent to the office of the board, in which case the voter shall vote that voter's absentee ballot in that room. A voter at a one-stop site shall be entitled to the same assistance as a voter at a voting place on election day under G.S. 163-166.8. The State Board of Elections shall, where appropriate, adapt the rules it adopts under G.S. 163-166.8 to one-stop voting. 
(e1) (Effective until January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) If a county uses a voting system with retrievable ballots, that county's board of elections may by resolution elect to conduct one-stop absentee voting according to the provisions of this subsection. In a county in which the board has opted to do so, a one-stop voter shall cast the ballot and then shall deposit the ballot in the ballot box or voting system in the same manner as if such box or system was in use in a precinct on election day. At the end of each business day, or at any time when there will be no employee or officer of the board of elections on the premises, the ballot box or system shall be secured in accordance with a plan approved by the State Board of Elections, which shall include that no additional ballots have been placed in the box or system. Any county board desiring to conduct one-stop voting according to this subsection shall submit a plan for doing so to the State Board of Elections. The State Board shall adopt standards for conducting one-stop voting under this subsection and shall approve any county plan that adheres to its standards. The county board shall adhere to its State Board-approved plan. The plan shall provide that each one-stop ballot shall have a ballot number on it in accordance with G.S. 163-230.1(a2), or shall have an equivalent identifier to allow for retrievability. The standards shall address retrievability in one-stop voting on direct record electronic equipment where no paper ballot is used. 
(e1) (Effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) If a county uses a voting system with retrievable ballots, that county's board of elections may by resolution elect to conduct one-stop absentee voting according to the provisions of this subsection. In a county in which the board has opted to do so, a one-stop voter shall cast the ballot and then shall deposit the ballot in the ballot box or voting system in the same manner as if such box or system was in use in a precinct on election day. At the end of each business day, or at any time when there will be no employee or officer of the board of elections on the premises, the ballot box or system shall be secured in accordance with a plan approved by the State Board of Elections, which shall include that no additional ballots have been placed in the box or system. Any county board desiring to conduct one-stop voting according to this subsection shall submit a plan for doing so to the State Board of Elections. The State Board shall adopt standards for conducting one-stop voting under this subsection and shall approve any county plan that adheres to its standards. The county board shall adhere to its State Board-approved plan. The plan shall provide that each one-stop ballot shall have a ballot number on it in accordance with G.S. 163-230.1(a2), or shall have an equivalent identifier to allow for retrievability. 
(e2) A voter who has moved within the county more than 30 days before election day but has not reported the move to the board of elections shall not be required on that account to vote a provisional ballot at the one-stop site, as long as the one-stop site has available all the information necessary to determine whether a voter is registered to vote in the county and which ballot the voter is eligible to vote based on the voter's proper residence address. The voter with that kind of unreported move shall be allowed to vote the same kind of absentee ballot as other one-stop voters. 
(f) Notwithstanding the exception specified in G.S. 163-36, counties which operate a modified full-time office shall remain open five days each week during regular business hours consistent with daily hours presently observed by the county board of elections, commencing with the date prescribed in G.S. 163-227.2(b) and continuing until 5:00 P.M. on the Friday prior to that election and shall also be open on the last Saturday before the election. A county board may conduct one-stop absentee voting during evenings or on weekends, as long as the hours are part of a plan submitted and approved according to subsection (g) of this section. The boards of county commissioners shall provide necessary funds for the additional operation of the office during that time. 
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a county board of elections by unanimous vote of all its members may provide for one or more sites in that county for absentee ballots to be applied for and cast under this section. Every individual staffing any of those sites shall be a member or full-time employee of the county board of elections or an employee of the county board of elections whom the board has given training equivalent to that given a full-time employee. Those sites must be approved by the State Board of Elections as part of a Plan for Implementation approved by both the county board of elections and by the State Board of Elections which shall also provide adequate security of the ballots and provisions to avoid allowing persons to vote who have already voted. The Plan for Implementation shall include a provision for the presence of political party observers at each one-stop site equivalent to the provisions in G.S. 163-45 for party observers at voting places on election day. A county board of elections may propose in its Plan not to offer one-stop voting at the county board of elections office; the State Board may approve that proposal in a Plan only if the Plan includes at least one site reasonably proximate to the county board of elections office and the State Board finds that the sites in the Plan as a whole provide adequate coverage of the county's electorate. If a county board of elections has considered a proposed Plan or Plans for Implementation and has been unable to reach unanimity in favor of a Plan, a member or members of that county board of elections may petition the State Board of Elections to adopt a plan for it. If petitioned, the State Board may also receive and consider alternative petitions from another member or members of that county board. The State Board of Elections may adopt a Plan for that county. The State Board, in that plan, shall take into consideration factors including geographic, demographic, and partisan interests of that county. Any plan adopted by either the county board of elections or the State Board of Elections under this subsection shall provide for the same days of operation and same number of hours of operation on each day for all sites in that county for that election. The requirement of the previous sentence does not apply to the county board of elections office itself nor, if one-stop voting is not conducted at the county board of elections office, to the reasonably proximate alternate site approved under this subsection. 
(g1) The State Board of Elections shall not approve, either in a Plan approved unanimously by a county board of elections or in an alternative Plan proposed by a member or members of that board, a one-stop site in a building that the county board of elections is not entitled under G.S. 163-129 to demand and use as an election-day voting place, unless the State Board of Elections finds that other equally suitable sites were not available and that the use of the sites chosen will not unfairly advantage or disadvantage geographic, demographic, or partisan interests of that county. In providing the site or sites for one-stop absentee voting under this section, the county board of elections shall make a request to the State, county, city, local school board, or other entity in control of the building that is supported or maintained, in whole or in part, by or through tax revenues at least 90 days prior to the start of one-stop absentee voting under this section. The request shall clearly identify the building, or any specific portion thereof, requested the dates and times for which that building or specific portion thereof is requested and the requirement of an area for election related activity. If the State, local governing board, or other entity in control of the building does not respond to the request within 20 days, the building or specific portion thereof may be used for one-stop absentee voting as stated in the request. If the State, local governing board, or other entity in control of the building or specific portion thereof responds negatively to the request within 20 days, that entity and the county board of elections shall, in good faith, work to identify a building or specific portion thereof in which to conduct one-stop absentee voting under this section. If no building or specific portion thereof has been agreed upon within 45 days from the date the county board of elections received a response to the request, the matter shall be resolved by the State Board of Elections. 
(g2) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsection (g) and (g1) of this section, for any county board of elections that provided for one or more sites during the 2010 or 2012 general election, that county shall provide, at a minimum, the following: 
(1) The county board of elections shall calculate the cumulative total number of scheduled voting hours at all sites during the 2012 primary and general elections, respectively, that the county provided for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section. For elections which include a presidential candidate on the ballot, the county shall ensure that at least the same number of hours offered in 2012 is offered for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section through a combination of hours and numbers of one-stop sites during the primary or general election, correspondingly. 
(2) The county board of elections shall calculate the cumulative total number of scheduled voting hours at all sites during the 2010 primary and general elections, respectively, that the county provided for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section. For elections which do not include a presidential candidate on the ballot, the county shall ensure that at least the same number of hours offered in 2010 is offered for absentee ballots to be applied for and voted under this section through a combination of hours and numbers of one-stop sites during the primary or general election, correspondingly. 
As used in this subsection, the phrase "cumulative total number of scheduled voting hours" includes those at the office of the county board of elections or the reasonably proximate alternate site approved under subsection (g) of this section. 
The State Board of Elections, to ensure compliance with this subsection, may approve a one-stop site in a building that the county board of elections is not entitled under G.S. 163-129 to demand and use as an election-day voting place, but may deny approval if a member of that board presents evidence that other equally suitable sites were available and the use of the sites chosen would unfairly advantage or disadvantage geographic, demographic, or partisan interests of that county. 
(g3) A county board of elections by unanimous vote of the board, with all members present and voting, may submit a request to the State Board to reduce the number of hours established in subsection (g2) of this section for a primary or a general election. The reduction shall take effect for that primary or general election only if approved by unanimous vote of the State Board with all members present and voting. 
(h) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 163-89(a) and (b), a challenge may be entered against a voter at a one-stop site under subsection (g) of this section or during one-stop voting at the county board office. The challenge may be entered by a person conducting one-stop voting under this section or by another registered voter who resides in the same precinct as the voter being challenged. If challenged at the place where one-stop voting occurs, the voter shall be allowed to cast a ballot in the same way as other voters. The challenge shall be made on forms prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The challenge shall be heard by the county board of elections in accordance with the procedures set forth in G.S. 163-89(e). 
(i) At any site where one-stop absentee voting is conducted, there shall be a curtained or otherwise private area where the voter may mark the ballot unobserved. 
(j) The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules requiring signage to be displayed until the deadline for submission of requests for absentee ballots provided in G.S. 163-230.1 at all one-stop absentee voting locations notifying voters who do not have eligible photo identification of the option to request an absentee ballot as provided in subsection (b1) of this section. (1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1975, c. 844, s. 12; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 107, s. 14; c. 799, ss. 1-3; 1981, c. 305, s. 2; 1985, c. 600, s. 4; 1987, c. 583, s. 4; 1989, c. 520; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 53; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; c. 509, ss. 117, 118; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 561, s. 4; 1997-510, s. 2; 1999-455, s. 6; 2000-136, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 5(a)-(c); 2001-337, s. 2; 2001-353, s. 9; 2003-278, s. 11; 2005-428, ss. 5(a), 6(a), 7; 2007-253, s. 3; 2007-391, s. 34(a); 2009-541, s. 23; 2013-381, ss. 2.7, 16.5, 25.1, 25.2, 25.3, 30.7; 2014-111, s. 3; 2015-103, ss. 6(b), 8(b), (c).) 
 
GS 163-227.3. Date by which absentee ballots must be available for voting. 
(a) A board of elections shall provide absentee ballots of the kinds needed 60 days prior to the statewide general election in even-numbered years and 50 days prior to the date on which any other election shall be conducted, unless 45 days is authorized by the State Board of Elections under G.S. 163-22(k) or there shall exist an appeal before the State Board or the courts not concluded, in which case the board shall provide the ballots as quickly as possible upon the conclusion of such an appeal. Provided, in a presidential election year, the board of elections shall provide general election ballots no later than three days after nomination of the presidential and vice presidential candidates if that nomination occurs later than 63 days prior to the statewide general election and makes compliance with the 60-day deadline impossible. However, in the case of municipal elections, absentee ballots shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. In every instance the board of elections shall exert every effort to provide absentee ballots, of the kinds needed by the date on which absentee voting is authorized to commence. 
(b) Second Primary. - The board of elections shall provide absentee ballots, of the kinds needed, as quickly as possible after the ballot information for a second primary has been determined. (1973, c. 1275; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 986, s. 2; 1987, c. 485, ss. 2, 5; c. 509, s. 9; 1989, c. 635, s. 5; 2001-353, s. 4; 2002-159, s. 55(i); 2009-537, s. 2; 2013-381, s. 17(a).) 
 
GS 163-228. Register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued; a public record. 
The State Board of Elections shall approve an official register in which the county board of elections in each county of the State shall record the following information: 
(1) Name of voter for whom application and ballots are being requested, and, if applicable, the name and address of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian who requested the application and ballots for the voter. 
(2) Number of assigned voter's application when issued. 
(3) Precinct in which applicant is registered. 
(4) Address to which ballots are to be mailed, or, if the voter voted pursuant to G.S. 163-227.2, a notation of that fact. 
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2009-537, s. 3, effective January 1, 2010, and applicable with respect to elections held on or after that date. 
(6) Date request for application for ballots is received by the county board of elections. 
(7) The voter's party affiliation. 
(8) The date the ballots were mailed or delivered to the voter. 
(9) Whatever additional information and official action may be required by this Article. 
The State Board of Elections may provide for the register to be kept by electronic data processing equipment, and a copy shall be printed out each business day or a supplement printed out each business day of new information. 
The register of absentee requests, applications and ballots issued shall constitute a public record and shall be opened to the inspection of any registered voter of the county within 60 days before and 30 days after an election in which absentee ballots were authorized, or at any other time when good and sufficient reason may be assigned for its inspection. (1939, c. 159, ss. 3, 9; 1945, c. 758, s. 8; 1953, c. 1114; 1963, c. 457, s. 3; 1965, c. 1208; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; c. 952, s. 4; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1991, c. 636, s. 21; 1999-455, s. 7; 2009-537, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-229. Absentee ballots, applications on container-return envelopes, and instruction sheets. 
(a) Absentee Ballot Form. - In accordance with the provisions of G.S. 163-230.1, persons entitled to vote by absentee ballot shall be furnished with official ballots. 
(b) Application on Container-Return Envelope. - In time for use not later than 60 days before a statewide general election in an even-numbered year, and not later than 50 days before a statewide primary, other general election or county bond election, the county board of elections shall print a sufficient number of envelopes in which persons casting absentee ballots may transmit their marked ballots to the county board of elections. However, in the case of municipal elections, sufficient container-return envelopes shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. Each container-return envelope shall have printed on it an application which shall be designed and prescribed by the State Board of Elections, providing for all of the following: 
(1) The voter's certification of eligibility to vote the enclosed ballot and of having voted the enclosed ballot in accordance with this Article. 
(2) A space for identification of the envelope with the voter and the voter's signature. 
(3) A space for the identification of the two persons witnessing the casting of the absentee ballot in accordance with G.S. 163-231, those persons' signatures, and those persons' addresses. 
(4) A space for the name and address of any person who, as permitted under G.S. 163-226.3(a), assisted the voter if the voter is unable to complete and sign the certification and that individual's signature. 
(5) A space for approval by the county board of elections. 
(6) A space to allow reporting of a change of name as provided by G.S. 163-82.16. 
(7) A prominent display of the unlawful acts under G.S. 163-226.3 and G.S. 163-275, except if there is not room on the envelope, the State Board of Elections may provide for that disclosure to be made on a separate piece of paper to be included along with the container-return envelope. 
The container-return envelope shall be printed in accordance with the instructions of the State Board of Elections. 
(c) Instruction Sheets. - In time for use not later than 60 days before a statewide general election in an even-numbered year, and not later than 50 days before a statewide primary, other general or county bond election, the county board of elections shall prepare and print a sufficient number of sheets of instructions on how voters are to prepare absentee ballots and return them to the county board of elections. However, in the case of municipal elections, instruction sheets shall be made available no later than 30 days before an election. (1929, c. 164, s. 39; 1939, c. 159, ss. 3, 4; 1943, c. 751, s. 2; 1963, c. 457, ss. 3, 4; 1965, c. 1208; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; c. 851, s. 1; c. 952, s. 5; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1975, c. 844, s. 13; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1985, c. 562, ss. 3, 4; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 986, s. 2; 1987, c. 485, ss. 2, 5; c. 509, s. 9; c. 583, s. 3; 1989, c. 635, s. 5; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 561, s. 5; 1999-455, s. 8; 2009-537, s. 4; 2013-381, s. 4.1.) 
 
GS 163-230.1. Simultaneous issuance of absentee ballots with application. 
(a) A qualified voter who desires to vote by absentee ballot, or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, shall complete a request form for an absentee application and absentee ballots so that the county board of elections receives that completed request form not later than 5:00 P.M. on the Tuesday before the election. That completed written request form shall be in compliance with G.S. 163-230.2. The county board of elections shall enter in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued the information required in G.S. 163-228 as soon as each item of that information becomes available. Upon receiving the completed request form, the county board of elections shall cause to be mailed to that voter a single package that includes all of the following: 
(1) The official ballots that voter is entitled to vote. 
(2) A container-return envelope for the ballots, printed in accordance with G.S. 163-229. 
(3) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-455, s. 10. 
(4) An instruction sheet. 
The ballots, envelope, and instructions shall be mailed to the voter by the county board's chairman, member, officer, or employee as determined by the board and entered in the register as provided by this Article. 
(a1) Absence for Sickness or Physical Disability. - Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, if a voter expects to be unable to go to the voting place to vote in person on election day because of that voter's sickness or other physical disability, that voter or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian may make the request under subsection (a) of this section in person to the board of elections of the county in which the voter is registered after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election but not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. The county board of elections shall treat that completed request form in the same manner as a request under subsection (a) of this section but may personally deliver the application and ballots to the voter or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian. 
(a2) Delivery of Absentee Ballots and Container-Return Envelope to Applicant. - When the county board of elections receives a completed request form for applications and absentee ballots, the board shall promptly issue and transmit them to the voter in accordance with the following instructions: 
(1) On the top margin of each ballot the applicant is entitled to vote, the chair, a member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall write or type the words "Absentee Ballot No. ____ " or an abbreviation approved by the State Board of Elections and insert in the blank space the number assigned the applicant's application in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued. That person shall not write, type, or print any other matter upon the ballots transmitted to the absentee voter. Alternatively, the board of elections may cause to be barcoded on the ballot the voter's application number, if that barcoding system is approved by the State Board of Elections. 
(2) The chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall fold and place the ballots (identified in accordance with the preceding instruction) in a container-return envelope and write or type in the appropriate blanks thereon, in accordance with the terms of G.S. 163-229(b), the absentee voter's name, the absentee voter's application number, and the designation of the precinct in which the voter is registered. If the ballot is barcoded under this section, the envelope may be barcoded rather than having the actual number appear. The person placing the ballots in the envelopes shall leave the container-return envelope holding the ballots unsealed. 
(3) The chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections shall then place the unsealed container-return envelope holding the ballots together with printed instructions for voting and returning the ballots, in an envelope addressed to the voter at the post office address stated in the request, seal the envelope, and mail it at the expense of the county board of elections: Provided, that in case of a request received after 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the election under the provisions of subsection (a1) of this section, in lieu of transmitting the ballots to the voter in person or by mail, the chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections may deliver the sealed envelope containing the instruction sheet and the container-return envelope holding the ballots to a near relative or verifiable legal guardian of the voter. 
The county board of elections may receive completed written request forms for applications at any time prior to the election but shall not mail applications and ballots to the voter or issue applications and ballots in person earlier than 60 days prior to the statewide general election in an even-numbered year, or earlier than 50 days prior to any other election, except as provided in G.S. 163-227.2. No election official shall issue applications for absentee ballots except in compliance with this Article. 
(b) The application shall be completed and signed by the voter personally, the ballots marked, the ballots sealed in the container-return envelope, and the certificate completed as provided in G.S. 163-231. 
(c) At its next official meeting after return of the completed container-return envelope with the voter's ballots, the county board of elections shall determine whether the container-return envelope has been properly executed. If the board determines that the container-return envelope has been properly executed, it shall approve the application and deposit the container-return envelope with other container-return envelopes for the envelope to be opened and the ballots counted at the same time as all other container-return envelopes and absentee ballots. 
(c1) Required Meeting of County Board of Elections. - During the period commencing on the third Tuesday before an election, in which absentee ballots are authorized, the county board of elections shall hold one or more public meetings each Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of action on applications for absentee ballots. At these meetings, the county board of elections shall pass upon applications for absentee ballots. 
If the county board of elections changes the time of holding its meetings or provides for additional meetings in accordance with the terms of this subsection, notice of the change in hour and notice of the schedule of additional meetings, if any, shall be published in a newspaper circulated in the county at least 30 days prior to the election. 
At the time the county board of elections makes its decision on an application for absentee ballots, the board shall enter in the appropriate column in the register of absentee requests, applications, and ballots issued opposite the name of the applicant a notation of whether the applicant's application was "Approved" or "Disapproved". 
The decision of the board on the validity of an application for absentee ballots shall be final subject only to such review as may be necessary in the event of an election contest. The county board of elections shall constitute the proper official body to pass upon the validity of all applications for absentee ballots received in the county; this function shall not be performed by the chairman or any other member of the board individually. 
(d) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-455, s. 10. 
(e) The State Board of Elections, by rule or by instruction to the county board of elections, shall establish procedures to provide appropriate safeguards in the implementation of this section. 
(f) For the purpose of this Article, "near relative" means spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild. (1983, c. 304, s. 1; 1985, c. 759, ss. 5.1-5.5; 1991, c. 727, s. 6.3; 1993, c. 553, s. 67; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1999-455, s. 10; 2001-337, s. 3; 2002-159, s. 55(m); 2009-537, s. 5; 2013-381, s. 4.2.) 
 
GS 163-230.2. Method of requesting absentee ballots. 
(a) Valid Types of Written Requests. - A completed written request form for an absentee ballot as required by G.S. 163-230.1 is valid only if it is on a form created by the State Board and signed by the voter requesting absentee ballots or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian. The State Board shall make the form available at its offices, online, and in each county board of elections office, and that form may be reproduced. A voter may make a request in person or by writing to the county board for the form to request an absentee ballot. The request form for an absentee ballot shall require at least the following information: 
(1) The name and address of the residence of the voter. 
(2) The name and address of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request. 
(3) The address of the voter to which the application and absentee ballots are to be mailed if different from the residence address of the voter. 
(4) One or more of the following in the order of preference: 
a. The number of the voter's North Carolina drivers license issued under Article 2 of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, including a learner's permit or a provisional license. 
b. The number of the voter's special identification card for nonoperators issued under G.S. 20-37.7. 
c. The last four digits of the applicant's social security number. 
(5) The voter's date of birth. 
(6) The signature of the voter or of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request. 
(a1) A completed request form for an absentee ballot shall be deemed a request to update the official record of voter registration for that voter and shall be confirmed in writing in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d). 
(a2) The completed request form for an absentee ballot shall be delivered to the county board of elections. If the voter does not include the information requested in subdivision (a)(4) of this section, a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2) shall accompany the completed request form. 
(a3) Upon receiving a completed request form for an absentee ballot, the county board shall confirm that voter's registration. If that voter is confirmed as a registered voter of the county, the absentee ballots and certification form shall be mailed to the voter, unless personally delivered in accordance with G.S. 163-230.1(a1). If the voter's official record of voter registration conflicts with the completed request form for an absentee ballot or cannot be confirmed, the voter shall be so notified. If the county board cannot resolve the differences, no application or absentee ballots shall be issued. 
(b) Invalid Types of Written Requests. - A request is not valid if it does not comply with subsection (a) of this section. If a county board of elections receives a request for an absentee ballot that does not comply with subsection (a) of this section, the board shall not issue an application and ballot under G.S. 163-230.1. 
(c) Rules by State Board. - The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules for the enforcement of this section. (2002-159, s. 57(a); 2013-381, s. 4.3.) 
 
GS 163-231. Voting absentee ballots and transmitting them to the county board of elections. 
(a) Procedure for Voting Absentee Ballots. - In the presence of two persons who are at least 18 years of age, and who are not disqualified by G.S. 163-226.3(a)(4) or G.S. 163-237(b1), the voter shall do all of the following: 
(1) Mark the voter's ballots, or cause them to be marked by that person in the voter's presence according to the voter's instruction. 
(2) Fold each ballot separately, or cause each of them to be folded in the voter's presence. 
(3) Place the folded ballots in the container-return envelope and securely seal it, or have this done in the voter's presence. 
(4) Make the application printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b) and make the certificate printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b). 
(5) Require those two persons in whose presence the voter marked that voter's ballots to sign the application and certificate as witnesses and to indicate those persons' addresses. Failure to list a ZIP code does not invalidate the application and certificate. 
Alternatively to the prior paragraph of this subsection, any requirement for two witnesses shall be satisfied if witnessed by one notary public, who shall comply with all the other requirements of that paragraph. The notary shall affix a valid notarial seal to the envelope, and include the word "Notary Public" below his or her signature. 
The persons in whose presence the ballot is marked shall at all times respect the secrecy of the ballot and the privacy of the absentee voter, unless the voter requests assistance and that person is otherwise authorized by law to give assistance. When thus executed, the sealed container-return envelope, with the ballots enclosed, shall be transmitted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section to the county board of elections which issued the ballots. 
(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 583, s. 1. 
(b) Transmitting Executed Absentee Ballots to County Board of Elections. - The sealed container-return envelope in which executed absentee ballots have been placed shall be transmitted to the county board of elections who issued those ballots as follows: 
(1) All ballots issued under the provisions of this Article and Article 21A of this Chapter shall be transmitted by mail or by commercial courier service, at the voter's expense, or delivered in person, or by the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian and received by the county board not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election. Ballots issued under the provisions of Article 21A of this Chapter may also be electronically transmitted. 
(2) If ballots are received later than the hour stated in subdivision (1) of this subsection, those ballots shall not be accepted unless one of the following applies: 
a. Federal law so requires. 
b. The ballots issued under this Article are postmarked and that postmark is dated on or before the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and are received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m. 
c. The ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter are received by the county board of elections not later than the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board of elections held pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5. 
(c) For purposes of this section, "Delivered in person" includes delivering the ballot to an election official at a one-stop voting site under G.S. 163-227.2 during any time that site is open for voting. The ballots shall be kept securely and delivered by election officials at that site to the county board of elections office for processing. (1939, c. 159, ss. 2, 5; 1941, c. 248; 1943, c. 736; c. 751, s. 1; 1945, c. 758, s. 5; 1963, c. 457, ss. 2, 5; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1247, s. 3; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1979, c. 799, s. 5; 1985, c. 562, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 583, ss. 1, 2; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 4; 1999-455, s. 11; 2009-537, ss. 6, 8(a); 2011-182, s. 5; 2013-381, s. 4.4; 2014-111, s. 11.) 
 
GS 163-232. Certified list of executed absentee ballots; distribution of list. 
The county board of elections shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a list in at least quadruplicate, of all absentee ballots returned to the county board of elections to be counted, which have been approved by the county board of elections, and which have been received as of 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. At the end of the list, the chair shall execute the following certificate under oath: 
"State of North Carolina 
County of ______________ 
I, ______________, chair of the ____________ County board of elections, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a list of all executed absentee ballots to be voted in the election to be conducted on the ____________ day of ______________, ________, which have been approved by the county board of elections and which have been returned no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election. I certify that the chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections has not delivered ballots for absentee voting to any person other than the voter, by mail or by commercial courier service or in person, except as provided by law, and have not mailed or delivered ballots when the request for the ballot was received after the deadline provided by law. 
This the ______ day of ______, ______ 
____________________ 
(Signature of chair of 
county board of elections) 
Sworn to and subscribed before me this ____________ day of ______, _____. 
Witness my hand and official seal. 
________________ 
(Signature of officer 
administering oath) 
________________ 
(Title of officer)" 
No later than 10:00 a.m. on election day, the county board of elections shall cause one copy of the list of executed absentee ballots, which may be a continuing countywide list or a separate list for each precinct, to be immediately (i) submitted electronically in a manner approved by the State Board of Elections or (ii) deposited as "first-class" mail to the State Board of Elections. The board shall retain one copy in the board office for public inspection and the board shall cause two copies of the appropriate precinct list to be delivered to the chief judge of each precinct in the county. The county board of elections shall be authorized to call upon the sheriff of the county to distribute the list to the precincts. In addition the county board of elections shall, upon request, provide a copy of the complete list to the chair of each political party, recognized under the provisions of G.S. 163-96, represented in the county. 
The chief judge shall post one copy of the list immediately in a conspicuous location in the voting place and retain one copy until all challenges of absentee ballots have been heard by the county board of elections. Challenges shall be made to absentee ballots as provided in G.S. 163-89. 
After receipt of the list of absentee voters required by this section the chief judge shall call the name of each person recorded on the list and enter an "A" in the appropriate voting square on the voter's permanent registration record, or a similar entry on the computer list used at the polls. If such person is already recorded as having voted in that election, the chief judge shall enter a challenge which shall be presented to the county board of elections for resolution by the board of elections prior to certification of results by the board. 
All lists required by this section shall be retained by the county board of elections for a period of 22 months after which they may then be destroyed. (1939, c. 159, s. 6; 1943, c. 751, s. 3; 1963, c. 457, s. 6; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1981, c. 155, s. 1; c. 305, s. 4; 1985, c. 600, s. 7; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 54; 1999-455, s. 12; 1999-456, s. 59; 2015-103, s. 3(a).) 
 
GS 163-232.1. Certified list of executed absentee ballots received on or after election day; publication of list. 
(a) The county board of elections shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a list in at least triplicate, of all absentee ballots issued under Article 20 of this Chapter returned to the county board of elections to be counted, which have been approved by the county board of elections, have not been included on the certified list prepared pursuant to G.S. 163-232, and which have been postmarked by the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m. The list shall be supplemented with new information each business day following the day of the election until the deadline for receipt of such absentee ballots. At the end of the list, the chairman shall execute the following certificate under oath: 
"State of North Carolina 
County of ____ 
I, ____, chairman of the ____ County Board of Elections, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a list of all executed absentee ballots to be voted in the election to be conducted on the ____ day of ____ , which have been approved by the county board of elections and which have been postmarked by the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m. I certify that the chairman, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections has not delivered ballots for absentee voting to any person other than the voter, by mail or by commercial courier service or in person, except as provided by law, and have not mailed or delivered ballots when the request for the ballot was received after the deadline provided by law. 
This the ________ day of ________, ____ 
__________________________________ 
(Signature of chairman of 
county board of elections) 
Sworn to and subscribed before me this ________ day of ________, ________. 
Witness my hand and official seal. 
___________________ 
(Signature of officer 
administering oath) 
________________ 
(Title of officer)" 
(b) The county board of elections shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a list in at least triplicate, of all military-overseas ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter and returned to the county board of elections to be counted, which have been approved by the county board of elections, have not been included on the certified list prepared pursuant to G.S. 163-232, and which have been received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m. The list shall be supplemented with new information each business day following the day of the election until the deadline for receipt of such absentee ballots. At the end of the list, the chair shall execute the following certificate under oath: 
"State of North Carolina 
County of ____ 
I, ____, chair of the ____ County Board of Elections, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a list of all executed military-overseas ballots to be voted in the election to be conducted on the ____ day of ____, ____, which have been approved by the county board of elections, and which have been postmarked by the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m. I further certify that I have issued ballots to no other persons than those listed herein and further that I have not delivered military-overseas ballots to persons other than those listed herein; that this list constitutes the only precinct registration of covered voters whose names have not heretofore been entered on the regular registration of the appropriate precinct. 
This the ________ day of ________, ____ 
_____________________ 
(Signature of chair of 
county board of elections) 
Sworn to and subscribed before me this ________ day of ________, ________. 
Witness my hand and official seal. 
___________________ 
(Signature of officer 
administering oath) 
________________ 
(Title of officer)" 
(c) The board shall post one copy of the most current version of each list in the board office in a conspicuous location for public inspection and shall retain one copy until all challenges of absentee ballots have been heard by the county board of elections. The county board of elections shall cause one copy of each of the final lists of executed absentee ballots required under subsection (a) and subsection (b) of this section to be (i) submitted electronically in a manner approved by the State Board of Elections or (ii) deposited as "first-class" mail to the State Board of Elections. The final lists shall be electronically submitted or mailed no later than 10:00 a.m. of the next business day following the deadline for receipt of such absentee ballots. Challenges shall be made to absentee ballots as provided in G.S. 163-89. In addition the county board of elections shall, upon request, provide a copy of each of the lists to the chair of each political party, recognized under the provisions of G.S. 163-96, represented in the county. 
(d) All lists required by this section shall be retained by the county board of elections for a period of 22 months after which they may then be destroyed. (2009-537, s. 8(b); 2011-182, s. 6; 2015-103, s. 3(b).) 
 
GS 163-233. Applications for absentee ballots; how retained. 
The county board of elections shall retain, in a safe place, the original of all applications made for absentee ballots and shall make them available to inspection by the State Board of Elections or to any person upon the directive of the State Board of Elections. 
All applications for absentee ballots shall be retained by the county board of elections for a period of one year after which they may be destroyed. (1939, c. 159, s. 7; 1943, c. 751, s. 4; 1963, c. 457, s. 7; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; c. 1075, s. 5; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1999-455, s. 13.) 
 
GS 163-233.1. Withdrawal of absentee ballots not allowed. 
No person shall be permitted to withdraw an absentee ballot after such ballot has been mailed to or returned to the county board of elections. (1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-234. Counting absentee ballots by county board of elections. 
All absentee ballots returned to the county board of elections in the container-return envelopes shall be retained by the board to be counted by the county board of elections as herein provided. 
(1) Only those absentee ballots returned to the county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before election day in a properly executed container-return envelope or absentee ballots received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii) shall be counted, except to the extent federal law requires otherwise. 
(2) The county board of elections shall meet at 5:00 p.m. on election day in the board office or other public location in the county courthouse for the purpose of counting all absentee ballots except those which have been challenged before 5:00 p.m. on election day and those received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii). Any elector of the county shall be permitted to attend the meeting and allowed to observe the counting process, provided the elector shall not in any manner interfere with the election officials in the discharge of their duties. 
Provided, that the county board of elections is authorized to begin counting absentee ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. and to begin counting all absentee ballots between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. upon the adoption of a resolution at least two weeks prior to the election wherein the hour and place of counting absentee ballots shall be stated. Such resolution also may provide for an additional meeting following the day of the election and prior to the day of canvass to count absentee ballots received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii) as provided in subdivision (10) of this section. A copy of the resolutions shall be published once a week for two weeks prior to the election, in a newspaper having general circulation in the county. Notice may additionally be made on a radio or television station or both, but such notice shall be in addition to the newspaper and other required notice. The count shall be continuous until completed and the members shall not separate or leave the counting place except for unavoidable necessity, except that if the count has been completed prior to the time the polls close, it shall be suspended until that time pending receipt of any additional ballots. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county board of elections from taking preparatory steps for the count earlier than the times specified in this section, as long as the preparatory steps do not reveal to any individual not engaged in the actual count election results before the times specified in this subdivision for the count to begin. By way of illustration and not limitation, a preparatory step for the count would be the entry of tally cards from direct record electronic voting units into a computer for processing. The board shall not announce the result of the count before 7:30 p.m. 
(2a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (2) of this section, a county board of elections may, at each meeting at which it approves absentee ballot applications pursuant to G.S. 163-230.1(c) and (c1), remove those ballots from their envelopes and have them read by an optical scanning machine, without printing the totals on the scanner. The board shall complete the counting of these ballots at the times provided in subdivision (2) of this section. The State Board of Elections shall provide instructions to county boards of elections for executing this procedure, and the instructions shall be designed to ensure the accuracy of the count, the participation of board members of both parties, and the secrecy of the results before election day. This subdivision applies only in counties that use optical scan devices to count absentee ballots. 
(3) The counting of absentee ballots shall not commence until a majority and at least one board member of each political party represented on the board is present and that fact is publicly declared and entered in the official minutes of the county board. 
(4) The county board of elections may employ such assistants as deemed necessary to count the absentee ballots, but each board member present shall be responsible for and observe and supervise the opening and tallying of the ballots. 
(5) As each ballot envelope is opened, the board shall cause to be entered into a pollbook designated "Pollbook of Absentee Voters" the name of the absentee voter, or if the pollbook is computer-generated, the board shall check off the name. Preserving secrecy, the ballots shall be placed in the appropriate ballot boxes, at least one of which shall be provided for each type of ballot. The "Pollbook of Absentee Voters" shall also contain the names of all persons who voted under G.S. 163-227.2, but those names may be printed by computer for inclusion in the pollbook. 
After all ballots have been placed in the boxes, the counting process shall begin. 
If one-stop ballots under G.S. 163-227.2 are counted electronically, that count shall commence at the time the polls close. If one-stop ballots are paper ballots counted manually, that count shall commence at the same time as other absentee ballots are counted. 
If a challenge transmitted to the board on canvass day by a chief judge is sustained, the ballots challenged and sustained shall be withdrawn from the appropriate boxes, as provided in G.S. 163-89(e). 
As soon as the absentee ballots have been counted and the names of the absentee voters entered in the pollbook as required herein, the board members and assistants employed to count the absentee ballots shall each sign the pollbook immediately beneath the last absentee voter's name entered therein. The county board of elections shall be responsible for the safekeeping of the pollbook of absentee voters. 
(6) Upon completion of the counting process the board members shall cause the results of the tally to be entered on the absentee abstract prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The abstract shall be signed by the members of the board in attendance and the original mailed immediately to the State Board of Elections. The county board of elections may have a separate count on the abstract for one-stop absentee ballots under G.S. 163-227.2. 
(7) One copy of the absentee abstract shall be retained by the county board of elections and the totals appearing thereon shall be added to the final totals of all votes cast in the county for each office as determined on the official canvass. 
(8) In the event a political party does not have a member of the county board of elections present at the meeting to count absentee ballots due to illness or other cause of the member, the counting shall not commence until the county party chairman of said absent member, or a member of the party's county executive committee, is in attendance. Such person shall act as an official witness to the counting and shall sign the absentee ballot abstract as an "observer." 
(9) The county board of elections shall retain all container-return envelopes and absentee ballots, in a safe place, for at least four months, and longer if any contest is pending concerning the validity of any ballot. 
(10) The county board of elections shall meet after election day and prior to the date of canvass to determine where the container-return envelopes for absentee ballots received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii) has been properly executed. The county board of elections shall comply with the requirements of G.S. 163-230.1 for approval of applications. Any absentee ballots received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii) shall be counted by the county board of elections on the day of canvass. The county board of elections is also authorized to meet following the day of the election and prior to the day of canvass to count absentee ballots received pursuant to G.S. 163-231(b)(ii) or (iii) upon the adoption of a resolution pursuant to subdivision (2) of this section. The county board of elections shall comply with all other requirements of this section for the counting of such absentee ballots. (1939, c. 159, ss. 8, 9; 1945, c. 758, s. 8; 1953, c. 1114; 1963, c. 547, s. 8; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; c. 851, s. 2; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1975, c. 798, s. 3; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; c. 626, s. 1; 1989, c. 93, s. 7; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 55; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1999-455, s. 14; 2005-159, s. 1; 2006-262, s. 1; 2009-537, s. 8(d); 2011-182, s. 7.) 
 
GS 163-236. Violations by county board of elections. 
The county board of elections shall be sole custodian of blank applications for absentee ballots, official ballots, and container-return envelopes for absentee ballots. The board shall issue and deliver blank applications for absentee ballots in strict accordance with the provisions of G.S. 163-230.1. The issuance of ballots to persons whose requests for absentee ballots have been received by the county board of elections under the provisions of G.S. 163-230.1 is the responsibility and duty of the county board of elections. 
It shall be the duty of the county board of elections to keep current all records required by this Article and to make promptly all reports required by this Article. If that duty has been assigned to the chair, member, officer, or employee of the board of elections, that person shall carry out the duty. 
The willful violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1939, c. 159, s. 14; 1963, c. 457, s. 10; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1987, c. 565, s. 9; 1993, c. 539, s. 1105; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-455, s. 15.) 
 
GS 163-237. Certain violations of absentee ballot law made criminal offenses. 
(a) False Statements under Oath Made Class 2 Misdemeanor. - If any person shall willfully and falsely make any affidavit or statement, under oath, which affidavit or statement under oath, is required to be made by the provisions of this Article, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. 
(b) False Statements Not under Oath Made Class 2 Misdemeanor. - Except as provided by G.S. 163-275(16), if any person, for the purpose of obtaining or voting any official ballot under the provisions of this Article, shall willfully sign any printed or written false statement which does not purport to be under oath, or which, if it purports to be under oath, was not duly sworn to, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. 
(b1) Candidate Witnessing Absentee Ballots of Nonrelative Made Class 2 Misdemeanor. - A person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if that person acts as a witness under G.S. 163-231(a) in any primary or election in which the person is a candidate for nomination or election, unless the voter is the candidate's near relative as defined in G.S. 163-230.1(f). 
(c) Fraud in Connection with Absentee Vote; Forgery. - Any person attempting to aid and abet fraud in connection with any absentee vote cast or to be cast, under the provisions of this Article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Attempting to vote by fraudulently signing the name of a regularly qualified voter is a Class I felony. 
(d) Violations Not Otherwise Provided for Made Class 2 Misdemeanors. - If any person shall willfully violate any of the provisions of this Article, or willfully fail to comply with any of the provisions thereof, for which no other punishment is herein provided, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1929, c. 164, s. 40; 1939, c. 159, ss. 12, 13, 15; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1, 1985, c. 562, s. 6; 1987, c. 565, s. 8; 1993, c. 539, ss. 1106, 1324; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-455, s. 22; 2014-111, s. 15(b).) 
 
GS 163-238. Reports of violations to district attorneys. 
It shall be the duty of the State Board of Elections to report to the district attorney of the appropriate prosecutorial district, any violation of this Article, or the failure of any person charged with a duty under its provisions to comply with and perform that duty, and it shall be the duty of the district attorney to cause such a person to be prosecuted therefor. (1939, c. 159, s. 16; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-239. Article 21A relating to absentee voting by military and overseas voters not applicable. 
Except as otherwise provided therein, Article 21A of this Chapter shall not apply to or modify the provisions of this Article. (1963, c. 457, s. 11; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 2011-182, s. 8.) 

GS 163.82 The address of any voter who is in the Address Confidentiality Program or who has obtained a protective order and who has complied with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-82.10(e) (hereinafter referred to as a “protected voter”) must be removed from the public voter list.
(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. (1901, c. 89, s. 83; Rev., s. 4382; C.S., s. 6016; 1931, c. 80; 1939, c. 263, s. 31/2; 1949, c. 916, ss. 6, 7; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1959, c. 883; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 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; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b); 2019-239, s. 1.1(c).) 

Address Confidentiality for Domestic Violence Victims: https://www.nc.gov/address-confidentiality-domestic-violence-victims 

GS 163-271. Intimidation of voters by officers made misdemeanor. 
It shall be unlawful for any person holding any office, position, or employment in the State government, or under and with any department, institution, bureau, board, commission, or other State agency, or under and with any county, city, town, district, or other political subdivision, directly or indirectly, to discharge, threaten to discharge, or cause to be discharged, or otherwise intimidate or oppress any other person in such employment on account of any vote such voter or any member of his family may cast, or consider or intend to cast, or not to cast, or which he may have failed to cast, or to seek or undertake to control any vote which any subordinate of such person may cast, or consider or intend to cast, or not to cast, by threat, intimidation, or declaration that the position, salary, or any part of the salary of such subordinate depends in any manner whatsoever, directly or indirectly, upon the way in which subordinate or any member of his family casts, or considers or intends to cast, or not to cast his vote, at any primary or election. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1933, c. 165, s. 25; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1987, c. 565, s. 11; 1993, c. 539, s. 1109; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).) 
 
GS 163-272.1. Penalties for violation of this Chapter. 
Whenever in this Chapter it is provided that a crime is a misdemeanor, the punishment shall be for a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1987, c. 565, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1110; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).) 
 
GS 163-273. Offenses of voters; interference with voters; penalty. 
(a) Any person who shall, in connection with any primary or election in this State, do any of the acts and things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. It shall be unlawful: 
(1) For a voter, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, to allow his ballot to be seen by any person. 
(2) For a voter to take or remove, or attempt to take or remove, any ballot from the voting enclosure. 
(3) For any person to interfere with, or attempt to interfere with, any voter when inside the voting enclosure. 
(4) For any person to interfere with, or attempt to interfere with, any voter when marking his ballots. 
(5) For any voter to remain longer than the specified time allowed by this Chapter in a voting booth, after being notified that his time has expired. 
(6) For any person to endeavor to induce any voter, while within the voting enclosure, before depositing his ballots, to show how he marks or has marked his ballots. 
(7) For any person to aid, or attempt to aid, any voter by means of any mechanical device, or any other means whatever, while within the voting enclosure, in marking his ballots. 
(b) Election officers shall cause any person committing any of the offenses set forth in subsection (a) of this section to be arrested and shall cause charges to be preferred against the person so offending in a court of competent jurisdiction. (1929, c. 164, s. 29; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1987, c. 565, s. 12; 1993, c. 539, s. 1111; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).) 
 
GS 163-274. Certain acts declared misdemeanors. 
(a) Class 2 Misdemeanors. - Any person who shall, in connection with any primary or election in this State, do any of the acts and things declared in this subsection to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. It shall be unlawful: 
(1) For any person to fail, as an officer or as a judge or chief judge of a primary or election, or as a member of any board of elections, to prepare the books, ballots, and return blanks which it is his duty under the law to prepare, or to distribute the same as required by law, or to perform any other duty imposed upon him within the time and in the manner required by law; 
(1a) For any member, director, or employee of a board of elections to alter a voter registration application or other voter registration record without either the written authorization of the applicant or voter or the written authorization of the State Board of Elections; 
(2) For any person to continue or attempt to act as a judge or chief judge of a primary or election, or as a member of any board of elections, after having been legally removed from such position and after having been given notice of such removal; 
(3) For any person to break up or by force or violence to stay or interfere with the holding of any primary or election, to interfere with the possession of any ballot box, election book, ballot, or return sheet by those entitled to possession of the same under the law, or to interfere in any manner with the performance of any duty imposed by law upon any election officer or member of any board of elections; 
(4) For any person to be guilty of any boisterous conduct so as to disturb any member of any election board or any chief judge or judge of election in the performance of his duties as imposed by law; 
(5) For any person to bet or wager any money or other thing of value on any election; 
(5a) Repealed by Session Laws 1999-455, s. 21, applicable to elections held on or after January 1, 2000. 
(6) For any person, directly or indirectly, to discharge or threaten to discharge from employment, or otherwise intimidate or oppose any legally qualified voter on account of any vote such voter may cast or consider or intend to cast, or not to cast, or which he may have failed to cast; 
(7) For any person to publish in a newspaper or pamphlet or otherwise, any charge derogatory to any candidate or calculated to affect the candidate's chances of nomination or election, unless such publication be signed by the party giving publicity to and being responsible for such charge; 
(8) For any person to publish or cause to be circulated derogatory reports with reference to any candidate in any primary or election, knowing such report to be false or in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity, when such report is calculated or intended to affect the chances of such candidate for nomination or election; 
(9) For any person to give or promise, in return for political support or influence, any political appointment or support for political office; 
(10) For any chairman of a county board of elections or other returning officer to fail or neglect, willfully or of malice, to perform any duty, act, matter or thing required or directed in the time, manner and form in which said duty, matter or thing is required to be performed in relation to any primary, general or special election and the returns thereof; 
(11) For any clerk of the superior court to refuse to make and give to any person applying in writing for the same a duly certified copy of the returns of any primary or election or of a tabulated statement to a primary or election, the returns of which are by law deposited in his office, upon the tender of the fees therefor; 
(12) For any person willfully and knowingly to impose upon any blind or illiterate voter a ballot in any primary or election contrary to the wish or desire of such voter, by falsely representing to such voter that the ballot proposed to him is such as he desires; or 
(13) Except as authorized by G.S. 163-82.15, for any person to provide false information, or sign the name of any other person, to a written report under G.S. 163-82.15. 
(14) For any person to be compensated based on the number of forms submitted for assisting persons in registering to vote. 
(b) Class 1 Misdemeanor. - Any person who shall, in connection with any primary or election in this State, do any of the acts and things declared in this subsection to be unlawful shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be unlawful for any person who has access to an official voted ballot or record to knowingly disclose in violation of G.S. 163-165.1(e) how an individual has voted that ballot. (1931, c. 348, s. 9; 1951, c. 983, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1979, c. 135, s. 3; 1987, c. 565, s. 13; c. 583, s. 9; 1993, c. 539, s. 1112; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 58(a)-(c); 1999-424, s. 7(h); 1999-426, s. 2(a); 1999-455, s. 21; 2007-391, ss. 9(b), 16(b); 2013-381, s. 14.1.) 
 
GS 163-275. Certain acts declared felonies. 
Any person who shall, in connection with any primary, general or special election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful: 
(1) For any person fraudulently to cause that person's name to be placed upon the registration books of more than one election precinct or fraudulently to cause or procure that person's name or that of any other person to be placed upon the registration books in any precinct when registration in that precinct does not qualify the person to vote legally therein, or to impersonate falsely another registered voter for the purpose of voting in the stead of the other voter. 
(2) For any person to give or promise or request or accept at any time, before or after any such primary or election, any money, property or other thing of value whatsoever in return for the vote of any elector. 
(3) For any person who is an election officer, a member of an election board or other officer charged with any duty with respect to any primary or election, knowingly to make any false or fraudulent entry on any election book or any false or fraudulent returns, or knowingly to make or cause to be made any false statement on any ballot, or to do any fraudulent act or knowingly and fraudulently omit to do any act or make any report legally required of that person. 
(4) For any person knowingly to swear falsely with respect to any matter pertaining to any primary or election. 
(5) For any person convicted of a crime which excludes the person from the right of suffrage, to vote at any primary or election without having been restored to the right of citizenship in due course and by the method provided by law. 
(6) For any person to take corruptly the oath prescribed for voters. 
(7) For any person with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time, or to induce another to do so, in the same primary or election, or to vote illegally at any primary or election. 
(8) For any chief judge or any clerk or copyist to make any entry or copy with intent to commit a fraud. 
(9) For any election official or other officer or person to make, certify, deliver or transmit any false returns of any primary or election, or to make any erasure, alteration, or conceal or destroy any election ballot, book, record, return or process with intent to commit a fraud. 
(10) For any person to assault any chief judge, judge of election or other election officer while in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election. 
(11) For any person, by threats, menaces or in any other manner, to intimidate or attempt to intimidate any chief judge, judge of election or other election officer in the discharge of duties in the registration of voters or in conducting any primary or election. 
(12) For any chief judge, judge of election, member of a board of elections, assistant, marker, or other election official, directly or indirectly, to seek, receive or accept money or the promise of money, the promise of office, or other reward or compensation from a candidate in any primary or election or from any source other than such compensation as may be provided by law for that person's services. 
(13) For any person falsely to make or present any certificate or other paper to qualify any person fraudulently as a voter, or to attempt thereby to secure to any person the privilege of voting, including declarations made under this Chapter, G.S. 20-37.7(d)(5), 20-37.7(d)(6), 130A-93.1(c), and 161-10(a)(8). 
(14) For any officer to register voters and any other individual to knowingly and willfully receive, complete, or sign an application to register from any voter contrary to the provisions of G.S. 163-82.4. 
(15) Reserved for future codification purposes. 
(16) For any person falsely to make the certificate provided by G.S. 163-229(b)(2). 
(17) For any person, directly or indirectly, to misrepresent the law to the public through mass mailing or any other means of communication where the intent and the effect is to intimidate or discourage potential voters from exercising their lawful right to vote. 
(18) For any person, knowing that a person is not a citizen of the United States, to instruct or coerce that person to register to vote or to vote. (1901, c. 89, s. 13; Rev., s. 3401; 1913, c. 164, s. 2; C.S., s. 4186; 1931, c. 348, s. 10; 1943, c. 543; 1965, c. 899; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 4; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, ss. 27, 28; 1981, cc. 63, 179; 1985, c. 562, s. 5; 1987, c. 565, s. 14; c. 583, s. 7; 1989, c. 770, s. 38; 1991, c. 727, s. 1; 1993, c. 553, s. 68; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 58(d)-(g); 1999-424, s. 7(i); 2007-391, s. 17(a); 2013-381, s. 3.4; 2014-111, s. 15(c); 2015-264, s. 26.) 
 
GS 163-276. Convicted officials; removal from office. 
Any public official who shall be convicted of violating any provision of Article 14A or 22 of this Chapter, in addition to the punishment provided by law, shall be removed from office by the judge presiding, and, if the conviction is for a felony, shall be disqualified from voting until his citizenship is restored as provided by law. (1949, c. 504; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1985, c. 563, s. 11.3; 2002-159, s. 21(c).) 
 
GS 163-278. Duty of investigating and prosecuting violations of this Article. 
It shall be the duty of the State Board of Elections and the district attorneys to investigate any violations of this Article, and the Board and district attorneys are authorized and empowered to subpoena and compel the attendance of any person before them for the purpose of making such investigation. The State Board of Elections and the district attorneys are authorized to call upon the Director of the State Bureau of Investigation to furnish assistance by the State Bureau of Investigation in making the investigations of such violations. The State Board of Elections shall furnish the district attorney a copy of its investigation. The district attorney shall initiate prosecution and prosecute any violations of this Article. The provisions of G.S. 163-278.28 shall be applicable to violations of this Article. (1931, c. 348, s. 12; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1975, c. 565, s. 7; 2014-100, s. 17.1(p).) 

GS 163-182. Definitions. 
In addition to the definitions stated below, the definitions set forth in Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes also apply to this Article. As used in this Article, the following definitions apply: 
(1) "Abstract" means a document signed by the members of the board of elections showing the votes for each candidate and ballot proposal on the official ballot in the election. The abstract shall show a total number of votes for each candidate in each precinct and a total for each candidate in the county. It shall also show the number of votes for each candidate among the absentee official ballots, among the provisional official ballots, and in any other category of official ballots that is not otherwise reported. 
(2) "Certificate of election" means a document prepared by the official or body with the legal authority to do so, conferring upon a candidate the right to assume an elective office as a result of being elected to it. 
(3) "Composite abstract" means a document signed by the members of the State Board of Elections showing the total number of votes for each candidate and ballot proposal and the number of votes in each county. A composite abstract does not include precinct returns. 
(4) "Protest" means a complaint concerning the conduct of an election which, if supported by sufficient evidence, may require remedy by one or more of the following: 
a. A correction in the returns. 
b. A discretionary recount as provided in G.S. 163-182.7. 
c. A new election as provided in G.S. 163-182.13. (2001-398, s. 3; 2010-96, ss. 19, 35.) 
 
GS 163-182.1. (Effective until January 1, 2018) Principles and rules for counting official ballots. 
(a) General Principles That Shall Apply. - The following general principles shall apply in the counting of official ballots, whether the initial count or any recount: 
(1) Only official ballots shall be counted. 
(2) No official ballot shall be rejected because of technical errors in marking it, unless it is impossible to clearly determine the voter's choice. 
(3) If it is impossible to clearly determine a voter's choice in a ballot item, the official ballot shall not be counted for that ballot item, but shall be counted in all other ballot items in which the voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(4) If an official ballot is marked in a ballot item with more choices than there are offices to be filled or propositions that may prevail, the official ballot shall not be counted for that ballot item, but shall be counted in all other ballot items in which there is no overvote and the voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(5) If an official ballot is rejected by a scanner or other counting machine, but human counters can clearly determine the voter's choice, the official ballot shall be counted by hand and eye. 
(6) Write-in votes shall not be counted in party primaries or in referenda, but shall be counted in general elections if all of the following are true: 
a. The write-in vote is written by the voter or by a person authorized to assist the voter pursuant to G.S. 163-166.8. 
b. The write-in vote is not cast for a candidate who has failed to qualify under G.S. 163-123 as a write-in candidate. 
c. The voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(7) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 32.2, effective January 1, 2014. 
(b) Procedures and Standards. - The State Board of Elections shall adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory procedures and standards for voting systems. The standards shall define what constitutes a vote and what will be counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the State. The State Board shall adopt those procedures and standards at a meeting occurring not earlier than 15 days after the State Board gives notice of the meeting. The procedures and standards adopted shall apply to all elections occurring in the State and shall be subject to amendment or repeal by the State Board acting at any meeting where notice that the action has been proposed has been given at least 15 days before the meeting. These procedures and standards shall not be considered to be rules subject to Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. However, the State Board shall publish in the North Carolina Register the procedures and standards and any changes to them after adoption, with that publication noted as information helpful to the public under G.S. 150B-21.17(a)(6). Copies of those procedures and standards shall be made available to the public upon request or otherwise by the State Board. For optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems, and for any other voting systems in which ballots are counted other than on paper by hand and eye, those procedures and standards shall do both of the following: 
(1) Provide for a sample hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots or paper records of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, full counts of one or more one-stop early voting sites, or a combination. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count, the hand-to-eye count shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand-to-eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand-to-eye count shall be conducted. 
(2) Provide that if the voter selects votes for more than the number of candidates to be elected or proposals to be approved in a ballot item, the voting system shall do all the following: 
a. Notify the voter that the voter has selected more than the correct number of candidates or proposals in the ballot item. 
b. Notify the voter before the vote is accepted and counted of the effect of casting overvotes in the ballot item. 
c. Provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the official ballot before it is accepted and counted. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-226, s. 13; 2005-323, s. 5(a); 2006-192, s. 7(a); 2006-264, s. 76(b); 2013-381, s. 32.2.) 
 
GS 163-182.1. (Effective January 1, 2018) Principles and rules for counting official ballots. 
(a) General Principles That Shall Apply. - The following general principles shall apply in the counting of official ballots, whether the initial count or any recount: 
(1) Only official ballots shall be counted. 
(2) No official ballot shall be rejected because of technical errors in marking it, unless it is impossible to clearly determine the voter's choice. 
(3) If it is impossible to clearly determine a voter's choice in a ballot item, the official ballot shall not be counted for that ballot item, but shall be counted in all other ballot items in which the voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(4) If an official ballot is marked in a ballot item with more choices than there are offices to be filled or propositions that may prevail, the official ballot shall not be counted for that ballot item, but shall be counted in all other ballot items in which there is no overvote and the voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(5) If an official ballot is rejected by a scanner or other counting machine, but human counters can clearly determine the voter's choice, the official ballot shall be counted by hand and eye. 
(6) Write-in votes shall not be counted in party primaries or in referenda, but shall be counted in general elections if all of the following are true: 
a. The write-in vote is written by the voter or by a person authorized to assist the voter pursuant to G.S. 163-166.8. 
b. The write-in vote is not cast for a candidate who has failed to qualify under G.S. 163-123 as a write-in candidate. 
c. The voter's choice can be clearly determined. 
(7) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 32.2, effective January 1, 2014. 
(b) Procedures and Standards. - The State Board of Elections shall adopt uniform and nondiscriminatory procedures and standards for voting systems. The standards shall define what constitutes a vote and what will be counted as a vote for each category of voting system used in the State. The State Board shall adopt those procedures and standards at a meeting occurring not earlier than 15 days after the State Board gives notice of the meeting. The procedures and standards adopted shall apply to all elections occurring in the State and shall be subject to amendment or repeal by the State Board acting at any meeting where notice that the action has been proposed has been given at least 15 days before the meeting. These procedures and standards shall not be considered to be rules subject to Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. However, the State Board shall publish in the North Carolina Register the procedures and standards and any changes to them after adoption, with that publication noted as information helpful to the public under G.S. 150B-21.17(a)(6). Copies of those procedures and standards shall be made available to the public upon request or otherwise by the State Board. For optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems, and for any other voting systems in which ballots are counted other than on paper by hand and eye, those procedures and standards shall do both of the following: 
(1) Provide for a sample hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, full counts of one or more one-stop early voting sites, or a combination. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count, the hand-to-eye count shall control, except where paper ballots have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand-to-eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand-to-eye count shall be conducted. 
(2) Provide that if the voter selects votes for more than the number of candidates to be elected or proposals to be approved in a ballot item, the voting system shall do all the following: 
a. Notify the voter that the voter has selected more than the correct number of candidates or proposals in the ballot item. 
b. Notify the voter before the vote is accepted and counted of the effect of casting overvotes in the ballot item. 
c. Provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the official ballot before it is accepted and counted. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-226, s. 13; 2005-323, s. 5(a); 2006-192, s. 7(a); 2006-264, s. 76(b); 2013-381, ss. 30.5, 32.2.) 
 
GS 163-182.1A. (Effective January 1, 2016 - see note) Counting of provisional official ballots cast due to failure to provide photo identification when voting in person. 
(a) Unless disqualified for some other reason provided by law, the county board of elections shall find that a voter's provisional official ballot cast as a result of failing to present photo identification when voting in person in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13 is valid and direct that the provisional ballot be opened and counted in accordance with this Chapter if the voter complies with this section. 
(b) A voter who casts a provisional official ballot wholly or partly as a result of failing to present photo identification when voting in person in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13 may comply with this section by appearing in person at the county board of elections and doing one of the following: 
(1) Presenting photo identification as defined in G.S. 163-166.13(e) that bears any reasonable resemblance to the voter. The local election official to whom the photo identification is presented shall determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to that voter. If not, that local election official shall comply with G.S. 163-166.14. 
(2) Presenting any of the documents listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2) and declaring that the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed. That voter shall also be offered an opportunity to execute a declaration under G.S. 163-82.7A for future elections. 
(c) All identification under subsection (b) of this section shall be presented to the county board of elections not later than 12:00 noon the day prior to the time set for the convening of the election canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5. 
(d) If the county board of elections determines that a voter has also cast a provisional official ballot for a cause other than the voter's failure to provide photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13, the county board shall do all of the following: 
(1) Note on the envelope containing the provisional official ballot that the voter has complied with the proof of identification requirement. 
(2) Proceed to determine any other reasons for which the provisional official ballot was cast provisionally before ruling on the validity of the voter's provisional official ballot. (2013-381, s. 2.8.) 
 
GS 163-182.1B. Counting of provisional official ballots cast following completion of a reasonable impediment declaration when voting in person. 
(a) The county board of elections shall find that a voter's provisional official ballot cast following completion of a declaration of reasonable impediment in accordance with G.S. 163-166.15 is valid and direct that the provisional ballot be opened and counted in accordance with this Chapter, unless any of the following apply: 
(1) The county board of elections has grounds, including an impediment evidentiary challenge by a voter, as provided in subsection (b) of this section, to believe the declaration is factually false, merely denigrated the photo identification requirement, or made obviously nonsensical statements. 
(2) The voter failed to present identification in the form of one of the following: 
a. Either a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2) or the voter registration card issued to the voter by the county board of elections when voting or at the county board of elections. 
b. The voter's last four digits of the Social Security number and date of birth. 
(3) The voter provided the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number and date of birth as the form of identification required under G.S. 163-166.15(c) and the county board of elections could not confirm the voter's registration using that information. 
(4) The voter is disqualified for some other reason provided by law. 
(b) An impediment evidentiary challenge may be made only on a form developed by the State Board of Elections as follows: 
(1) Any registered voter of the county may make the challenge by submitting clear and convincing evidence in writing on a signed form to the county board of elections challenging the factual veracity of the impediment. 
(2) Challenges shall be submitted no later than 5:00 P.M. on the third business day following the election. 
(3) The county board shall hear evidentiary challenges on the day set for the canvass of the returns. 
(4) A voter whose declaration has been challenged may personally, or through an authorized representative, appear before the county board and present evidence supporting the factual veracity of the impediment. 
(5) In considering the challenge, the county board shall construe all evidence presented in the light most favorable to the voter submitting the reasonable impediment declaration. 
(6) The county board shall not find a challenge valid if it provides only evidence regarding the reasonableness of the impediment. 
(7) The county board may find the challenge valid if the evidence demonstrates the declaration merely denigrated the photo identification requirement, made obviously nonsensical statements, or made statements or selected a reasonable impediment check box that was factually false. 
(c) A voter who failed to present identification required in G.S. 163-166.15(c) when completing the reasonable impediment affidavit may comply with the identification requirement by appearing in person at the county board of elections to present the identification no later than 12:00 noon the day prior to the time set for the convening of the election canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5. 
(d) If the county board of elections determines that a voter has also cast a provisional official ballot for a cause other than the voter's failure to provide photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13(a), the county board shall do all of the following: 
(1) Note on the envelope containing the provisional official ballot that the voter has complied with the reasonable impediment declaration requirement. 
(2) Proceed to determine any other reasons for which the provisional official ballot was cast provisionally before ruling on the validity of the voter's provisional official ballot. 
(e) Within 60 days after each election, the county board of elections shall provide to the State Board of Elections a report of those reasonable impediments identified in that election by voters. The State Board shall use the information in the reports to identify and address obstacles to obtaining photo identification. (2015-103, s. 8(e).) 
 
GS 163-182.2. Initial counting of official ballots. 
(a) The initial counting of official ballots shall be conducted according to the following principles: 
(1) Vote counting at the precinct shall occur immediately after the polls close and shall be continuous until completed. 
(2) Vote counting at the precinct shall be conducted with the participation of precinct officials of all political parties then present. Vote counting at the county board of elections shall be conducted in the presence or under the supervision of board members of all political parties then present. 
(3) Any member of the public wishing to witness the vote count at any level shall be allowed to do so. No witness shall interfere with the orderly counting of the official ballots. Witnesses shall not participate in the official counting of official ballots. 
(4) If the county board of elections finds that an individual voting a provisional official ballot (i) was registered in the county as provided in G.S. 163-82.1, (ii) voted in the proper precinct under G.S. 163-55 and G.S. 163-57, and (iii) was otherwise eligible to vote, the provisional official ballots shall be counted by the county board of elections before the canvass. Except as provided in G.S. 163-82.15(e), if the county board finds that an individual voting a provisional official ballot (i) did not vote in the proper precinct under G.S. 163-55 and G.S. 163-57, (ii) is not registered in the county as provided in G.S. 163-82.1, or (iii) is otherwise not eligible to vote, the ballot shall not be counted. If a voter was properly registered to vote in the election by the county board, no mistake of an election official in giving the voter a ballot or in failing to comply with G.S. 163-82.15 or G.S. 163-166.11 shall serve to prevent the counting of the vote on any ballot item the voter was eligible by registration and qualified by residency to vote. 
(5) Precinct officials shall provide a preliminary report of the vote counting to the county board of elections as quickly as possible. The preliminary report shall be unofficial and has no binding effect upon the official county canvass to follow. 
(6) In counties that use any certified mechanical or electronic voting system, subject to the sample counts under G.S. 163-182.1 and subdivision (1a) of subsection (b) of this section, and of a hand-to-eye recount under G.S. 163-182.7 and G.S. 163-182.7A, a board of elections shall rely in its canvass on the mechanical or electronic count of the vote rather than the full hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots or records. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count or recount, the hand-to-eye count or recount shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. 
(b) The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the initial counting of official ballots. All election officials shall be governed by those rules. In promulgating those rules, the State Board shall adhere to the following guidelines: 
(1) For each voting system used, the rules shall specify the role of precinct officials and of the county board of elections in the initial counting of official ballots. 
(1a) (Effective until January 1, 2018) For optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems, and for any other voting systems in which ballots are counted other than on paper by hand and eye, those rules shall provide for a sample hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots or paper records of a sampling of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, and full counts of one or more one-stop early voting sites. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count, the hand-to-eye count shall control, except where paper ballots or records have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand-to-eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand-to-eye count shall be conducted. The sample count need not be done on election night. 
(1a) (Effective January 1, 2018) For optical scan and direct record electronic voting systems, and for any other voting systems in which ballots are counted other than on paper by hand and eye, those rules shall provide for a sample hand-to-eye count of the paper ballots of a sampling of a statewide ballot item in every county. The presidential ballot item shall be the subject of the sampling in a presidential election. If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. The State Board shall approve in an open meeting the procedure for randomly selecting the sample precincts for each election. The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier. The sample chosen by the State Board shall be of one or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, and full counts of one or more one-stop early voting sites. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician. The actual units shall be chosen at random. In the event of a material discrepancy between the electronic or mechanical count and a hand-to-eye count, the hand-to-eye count shall control, except where paper ballots have been lost or destroyed or where there is another reasonable basis to conclude that the hand-to-eye count is not the true count. If the discrepancy between the hand-to-eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand-to-eye count shall be conducted. The sample count need not be done on election night. 
(2) The rules shall provide for accurate unofficial reporting of the results from the precinct to the county board of elections with reasonable speed on the night of the election. 
(3) The rules shall provide for the prompt and secure transmission of official ballots from the voting place to the county board of elections. 
The State Board shall direct the county boards of elections in the application of the principles and rules in individual circumstances. (2001-398, s. 3; 2005-2, s. 5; 2005-323, s. 5(b); 2006-192, s. 7(b); 2006-264, s. 76(c); 2013-381, ss. 30.6, 49.4; 2014-111, s. 12(c).) 
 
GS 163-182.3. Responsibility of chief judge. 
The chief judge of each precinct shall be responsible for the adherence of the precinct officials to the State Board rules for counting, reporting, and transmitting official ballots. (2001-398, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-182.4. Jurisdiction for certain ballot items. 
(a) Jurisdiction of County Board of Elections. - As used in this Article, the county board of elections shall have jurisdiction over the following: 
(1) Offices of that county, including clerk of superior court and register of deeds. 
(2) Membership in either house of the General Assembly from a district lying entirely within that county. 
(3) Offices of municipalities, unless the municipality has a valid board of election. 
(4) Referenda in which only residents of that county are eligible to vote. 
(b) Jurisdiction of State Board of Elections. - As used in this Article, the State Board of Elections shall have jurisdiction over the following: 
(1) National offices. 
(2) State offices. 
(3) District offices (including General Assembly seats) in which the district lies in more than one county. 
(4) Superior court judge, district court judge, and district attorney, regardless of whether the district lies entirely in one county or in more than one county. 
(5) Referenda in which residents of more than one county are eligible to vote. 
(c) For the purposes of this Article, having jurisdiction shall mean that the appropriate board shall do all of the following with regard to the ballot item: 
(1) Canvass for the entire electorate for the ballot item. 
(2) Prepare abstracts or composite abstracts for the entire electorate for the ballot item. 
(3) Issue certificates of nomination and election. (2001-398, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-182.5. Canvassing votes. 
(a) The Canvass. - As used in this Article, the term "canvass" means the entire process of determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly, culminating in the authentication of the official election results. The board of elections conducting a canvass has authority to send for papers and persons and to examine them and pass upon the legality of disputed ballots. 
(b) Canvassing by County Board of Elections. - The county board of elections shall meet at 11:00 A.M. on the tenth day after every election held on the same day as a general election in November of the even-numbered year, and at 11:00 A.M. on the seventh day after every other election, to complete the canvass of votes cast and to authenticate the count in every ballot item in the county by determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. If, despite due diligence by election officials, the initial counting of all the votes has not been completed by that time, the county board may hold the canvass meeting a reasonable time thereafter. The canvass meeting shall be at the county board of elections office, unless the county board, by unanimous vote of all its members, designates another site within the county. The county board shall examine the returns from precincts, from absentee official ballots, from the sample hand-to-eye paper ballot counts, and from provisional official ballots and shall conduct the canvass. 
(c) Canvassing by State Board of Elections. - After each general election, the State Board of Elections shall meet at 11:00 A.M. on the Tuesday three weeks after election day to complete the canvass of votes cast in all ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections and to authenticate the count in every ballot item in the county by determining that the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. After each primary, the State Board shall fix the date of its canvass meeting. If, by the time of its scheduled canvass meeting, the State Board has not received the county canvasses, the State Board may adjourn for not more than 10 days to secure the missing abstracts. In obtaining them, the State Board is authorized to secure the originals or copies from the appropriate clerks of superior court or county boards of elections, at the expense of the counties. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-278, s. 10(a); 2005-323, s. 5(c); 2005-428, s. 11(a).) 
 
GS 163-182.6. Abstracts. 
(a) Abstracts to Be Prepared by County Board of Elections. - As soon as the county canvass has been completed, the county board of elections shall prepare abstracts of all the ballot items in a form prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The county board shall prepare those abstracts in triplicate originals. The county board shall retain one of the triplicate originals, and shall distribute one each to the clerk of superior court for the county and the State Board of Elections. The State Highway Patrol may, upon request of the State Board of Elections, be responsible for the delivery of the abstracts from each county to the State Board of Elections. The State Board of Elections shall forward the original abstract it receives to the Secretary of State. 
(b) Composite Abstracts to Be Prepared by the State Board of Elections. - As soon as the State canvass has been completed, the State Board shall prepare composite abstracts of all those ballot items. It shall prepare those composite abstracts in duplicate originals. It shall retain one of the originals and shall send the other original to the Secretary of State. 
(c) Duty of the Secretary of State. - The Secretary of State shall maintain the certified copies of abstracts received from the county and State boards of elections. The Secretary shall keep the abstracts in a form readily accessible and useful to the public. 
(d) Forms by State Board of Elections. - The State Board of Elections shall prescribe forms for all abstracts. Those forms shall be uniform and shall, at a minimum, state the name of each candidate and the office sought and each referendum proposal, the number of votes cast for each candidate and proposal, the candidate or proposal determined to have prevailed, and a statement authenticating the count. (2001-398, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-182.7. Ordering recounts. 
(a) Discretionary Recounts. - The county board of elections or the State Board of Elections may order a recount when necessary to complete the canvass in an election. The county board may not order a recount where the State Board of Elections has already denied a recount to the petitioner. 
(b) Mandatory Recounts for Ballot Items Within the Jurisdiction of the County Board of Elections. - In a ballot item within the jurisdiction of the county board of elections, a candidate shall have the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate is not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item, or in the case of a multiseat ballot item not more than one percent (1%) of the votes cast for those two candidates. The demand for a recount must be made in writing and must be received by the county board of elections by 5:00 P.M. on the first business day after the canvass. The recount shall be conducted under the supervision of the county board of elections. 
(c) Mandatory Recounts for Ballot Items Within the Jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections. - In a ballot item within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections, a candidate shall have the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate are not more than the following: 
(1) For a nonstatewide ballot item, one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item, or in the case of a multiseat ballot item, one percent (1%) of the votes cast for those two candidates. 
(2) For a statewide ballot item, one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the votes cast in the ballot item, or 10,000 votes, whichever is less. 
The demand for a recount must be in writing and must be received by the State Board of Elections by noon on the second business day after the county canvass. If at that time the available returns show a candidate not entitled to a mandatory recount, but the Executive Director determines subsequently that the margin is within the threshold set out in this subsection, the Executive Director shall notify the eligible candidate immediately and that candidate shall be entitled to a recount if that candidate so demands within 48 hours of notice. The recount shall be conducted under the supervision of the State Board of Elections. 
(d) Rules for Conducting Recounts. - The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for conducting recounts. Those rules shall be subject to the following guidelines: 
(1) The rules shall specify, with respect to each type of voting system, when and to what extent the recount shall consist of machine recounts and hand-to-eye recounts. Hand-to-eye recounts shall also be ordered as provided by G.S. 163-182.7A. 
(2) The rules shall provide guidance in interpretation of the voter's choice. 
(3) The rules shall specify how the goals of multipartisan participation, opportunity for public observation, and good order shall be balanced. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-278, ss. 10(b), 10(c); 2005-323, s. 6(a); 2005-428, s. 11(b).) 
 
GS 163-182.7A. Additional provisions for hand-to-eye recounts. 
(a) The rules promulgated by the State Board of Elections for recounts shall provide that if the initial recount is not hand-to-eye, and if the recount does not reverse the results, the candidate who had originally been entitled to a recount may, within 24 hours of the completion of the first recount, demand a second recount on a hand-to-eye basis in a sample of precincts. If the initial recount was not hand-to-eye and it reversed the results, the candidate who had initially been the winner shall have the same right to ask for a hand-to-eye recount in a sample of precincts. 
That sample shall be all the ballots in three percent (3%) of the precincts casting ballots in each county in the jurisdiction of the office, rounded up to the next whole number of precincts. For the purpose of that calculation, each one-stop (early) voting site shall be considered to be a precinct. The precincts to be recounted by a hand-to-eye count shall be chosen at random within each county. If the results of the hand-to-eye recount differ from the previous results within those precincts to the extent that extrapolating the amount of the change to the entire jurisdiction (based on the proportion of ballots recounted to the total votes cast for that office) would result in the reversing of the results, then the State Board of Elections shall order a hand-to-eye recount of the entire jurisdiction in which the election is held. There shall be no cost to the candidate for that recount in the entire jurisdiction. 
(b) Recounts under this section shall be governed by rules adopted under G.S. 163-182.7(d). 
(c) No complete hand-to-eye recount shall be conducted under this section if one has already been done under another provision of law. (2005-323, s. 6(b).) 
 
GS 163-182.9. Filing an election protest. 
(a) Who May File a Protest With County Board. - A protest concerning the conduct of an election may be filed with the county board of elections by any registered voter who was eligible to vote in the election or by any person who was a candidate for nomination or election in the election. 
(b) How Protest May Be Filed. - The following principles shall apply to the filing of election protests with the county board of elections: 
(1) The protest shall be in writing and shall be signed by the protester. It shall include the protester's name, address, and telephone number and a statement that the person is a registered voter in the jurisdiction or a candidate. 
(2) The protest shall state whether the protest concerns the manner in which votes were counted and results tabulated or concerns some other irregularity. 
(3) The protest shall state what remedy the protester is seeking. 
(4) The timing for filing a protest shall be as follows: 
a. If the protest concerns the manner in which votes were counted or results tabulated, the protest shall be filed before the beginning of the county board of election's canvass meeting. 
b. If the protest concerns the manner in which votes were counted or results tabulated and the protest states good cause for delay in filing, the protest may be filed until 5:00 P.M. on the second business day after the county board of elections has completed its canvass and declared the results. 
c. If the protest concerns an irregularity other than vote counting or result tabulation, the protest shall be filed no later than 5:00 P.M. on the second business day after the county board has completed its canvass and declared the results. 
d. If the protest concerns an irregularity on a matter other than vote counting or result tabulation and the protest is filed before election day, the protest proceedings shall be stayed, unless a party defending against the protest moves otherwise, until after election day if any one of the following conditions exists: 
1. The ballot has been printed. 
2. The voter registration deadline for that election has passed. 
3. Any of the proceedings will occur within 30 days before election day. 
(c) State Board to Prescribe Forms. - The State Board of Elections shall prescribe forms for filing protests. (2001-398, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 4.) 
 
GS 163-182.10. Consideration of protest by county board of elections. 
(a) Preliminary Consideration. - The following principles shall apply to the initial consideration of election protests by the county board of elections: 
(1) The county board shall, as soon as possible after the protest is filed, meet to determine whether the protest substantially complies with G.S. 163-182.9 and whether it establishes probable cause to believe that a violation of election law or irregularity or misconduct has occurred. If the board determines that one or both requirements are not met, the board shall dismiss the protest. The board shall notify both the protester and the State Board of Elections. The protester may file an amended protest or may appeal to the State Board. If the board determines that both requirements are met, it shall schedule a hearing. 
(2) If a protest was filed before the canvass and concerns the counting and tabulating of votes, the county board shall resolve the protest before the canvass is completed. If necessary to provide time to resolve the protest, the county board may recess the canvass meeting, but shall not delay the completion of the canvass for more than three days unless approved by the State Board of Elections. Resolution of the protest shall not delay the canvass of ballot items unaffected by the protest. The appeal of a dismissal shall not delay the canvass. 
(3) If a protest concerns an irregularity other than the counting or tabulating of votes, that protest shall not delay the canvass. 
(b) Notice of Hearing. - The county board shall give notice of the protest hearing to the protester, any candidate likely to be affected, any election official alleged to have acted improperly, and those persons likely to have a significant interest in the resolution of the protest. Each person given notice shall also be given a copy of the protest or a summary of its allegations. The manner of notice shall be as follows: 
(1) If the protest concerns the manner in which the votes were counted or the results tabulated, the protester shall be told at the time of filing that the protest will be heard at the time of the canvass. Others shall be notified as far in advance of the canvass as time permits. 
(2) If the protest concerns a matter other than the manner in which votes were counted or results tabulated, the county board shall comply with rules to be promulgated by the State Board of Elections concerning reasonable notice of the hearing. 
Failure to comply with the notice requirements in this subsection shall not delay the holding of a hearing nor invalidate the results if it appears reasonably likely that all interested persons were aware of the hearing and had an opportunity to be heard. 
(c) Conduct of Hearing. - The following principles shall apply to the conduct of a protest hearing before the county board of elections: 
(1) The county board may allow evidence to be presented at the hearing in the form of affidavits or it may examine witnesses. The chair or any two members of the board may subpoena witnesses or documents. Each witness must be placed under oath before testifying. 
(2) The county board may receive evidence at the hearing from any person with information concerning the subject of the protest. The person who made the protest shall be permitted to present allegations and introduce evidence at the hearing. Any other person to whom notice of hearing was given, if present, shall be permitted to present evidence. The board may allow evidence by affidavit. The board may permit evidence to be presented by a person to whom notice was not given, if the person apparently has a significant interest in the resolution of the protest that is not adequately represented by other participants. 
(3) The hearing shall be recorded by a reporter or by mechanical means, and the full record of the hearing shall be preserved by the county board until directed otherwise by the State Board. 
(d) Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law by County Board. - The county board shall make a written decision on each protest which shall state separately each of the following: 
(1) Findings of fact. - The findings of fact shall be based exclusively on the evidence and on matters officially noticed. Findings of fact, if set forth in statutory language, shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit statement of the underlying facts supporting them. 
(2) Conclusions of law. - The conclusions the county board may state, and their consequences for the board's order, are as follows: 
a. "The protest should be dismissed because it does not substantially comply with G.S. 163-182.9." If the board makes this conclusion, it shall order the protest dismissed. 
b. "The protest should be dismissed because there is not substantial evidence of a violation of the election law or other irregularity or misconduct." If the county board makes this conclusion, it shall order the protest dismissed. 
c. "The protest should be dismissed because there is not substantial evidence of any violation, irregularity, or misconduct sufficient to cast doubt on the results of the election." If the county board makes this conclusion, it shall order the protest dismissed. 
d. "There is substantial evidence to believe that a violation of the election law or other irregularity or misconduct did occur, and might have affected the outcome of the election, but the board is unable to finally determine the effect because the election was a multicounty election." If the county board makes this conclusion, it shall order that the protest and the county board's decision be sent to the State Board for action by it. 
e. "There is substantial evidence to believe that a violation of the election law or other irregularity or misconduct did occur and that it was sufficiently serious to cast doubt on the apparent results of the election." If the county board makes this conclusion, it may order any of the following as appropriate: 
1. That the vote total as stated in the precinct return or result of the canvass be corrected and new results declared. 
2. That votes be recounted. 
3. That the protest and the county board's decision be sent to the State Board for action by it. 
4. Any other action within the authority of the county board. 
(3) An order. - Depending on the conclusion reached by the county board, its order shall be as directed in subdivision (c)(2). If the county board is not able to determine what law is applicable to the Findings of Fact, it may send its findings of fact to the State Board for it to determine the applicable law. 
(e) Rules by State Board of Elections. - The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules providing for adequate notice to parties, scheduling of hearings, and the timing of deliberations and issuance of decision. (2001-398, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-182.11. Appeal of a protest decision by the county board to the State Board of Elections. 
(a) Notice and Perfection of Appeal. - The decision by the county board of elections on an election protest may be appealed to the State Board of Elections by any of the following: 
(1) The person who filed the protest. 
(2) A candidate or elected official adversely affected by the county board's decision. 
(3) Any other person who participated in the hearing and has a significant interest adversely affected by the county board's decision. 
Written notice of the appeal must be given to the county board within 24 hours after the county board files the written decision at its office. The appeal to the State Board must be in writing. The appeal must be delivered or deposited in the mail, addressed to the State Board, by the appropriate one of the following: (i) the end of the second day after the day the decision was filed by the county board in its office, if the decision concerns a first primary; or (ii) the end of the fifth day after the day the decision was filed in the county board office, if the decision concerns an election other than a first primary. 
The State Board shall prescribe forms for filing appeals from the county board. 
(b) Consideration of Appeal by State Board. - In its consideration of an appeal from a decision of a county board of elections on a protest, the State Board of Elections may do any of the following: 
(1) Decide the appeal on the basis of the record from the county board, as long as the county board has made part of the record a transcript of the evidentiary hearing. 
(2) Request the county board or any interested person to supplement the record from the county board, and then decide the appeal on the basis of that supplemented record. 
(3) Receive additional evidence and then decide the appeal on the basis of the record and that additional evidence. 
(4) Hold its own hearing on the protest and resolve the protest on the basis of that hearing. 
(5) Remand the matter to the county board for further proceedings in compliance with an order of the State Board. 
The State Board shall follow the procedures set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of G.S. 163-182.10 except where they are clearly inapplicable. 
The State Board shall give notice of its decision as required by G.S. 163-182.14, and may notify the county board and other interested persons in its discretion. (2001-398, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-182.12. Authority of State Board of Elections over protests. 
The State Board of Elections may consider protests that were not filed in compliance with G.S. 163-182.9, may initiate and consider complaints on its own motion, may intervene and take jurisdiction over protests pending before a county board, and may take any other action necessary to assure that an election is determined without taint of fraud or corruption and without irregularities that may have changed the result of an election. Where a known group of voters cast votes that were lost beyond retrieval or where a known group of voters was given an incorrect ballot style, the State Board of Elections may authorize a county board of elections to allow those voters to recast their votes during a period of two weeks after the canvass by the State Board of Elections required in G.S. 163-182.5(c). If there is no State Board canvass after the election, the State Board may authorize the county board to allow the recasting of votes during the two weeks after the county canvass set in G.S. 163-182.5(a). If the State Board approves a recasting of votes under this section, any procedures the county board uses to contact those voters and allow them to recast their votes shall be subject to approval by the State Board. Those recast votes shall be added to the returns and included in the canvass. The recasting of those votes shall not be deemed a new election for purposes of G.S. 163-182.13. (2001-398, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 17; 2007-391, s. 12; 2008-187, s. 33(a).) 
 
GS 163-182.15. Certificate of nomination or election, or certificate of the results of a referendum. 
(a) Issued by County Board of Elections. - In ballot items within the jurisdiction of the county board of elections, the county board shall issue a certificate of nomination or election, or a certificate of the results of the referendum, as appropriate. The certificate shall be issued by the county board six days after the completion of the canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5, unless there is an election protest pending. If there is an election protest, the certificate of nomination or election or the certificate of the result of the referendum shall be issued in one of the following ways, as appropriate: 
(1) The certificate shall be issued five days after the protest is dismissed or denied by the county board of elections, unless that decision has been appealed to the State Board of Elections. 
(2) The certificate shall be issued on the tenth day after the final decision of the State Board, unless the State Board has ordered a new election or the issuance of the certificate is stayed by the Superior Court of Wake County pursuant to G.S. 163-182.14. 
(3) If the decision of the State Board has been appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County and the court has stayed the certification, the certificate shall be issued five days after the entry of a final order in the case in the Superior Court of Wake County, unless that court or an appellate court orders otherwise. 
(4) No certificate of election need be issued for any member of the General Assembly following a contest of the election pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 120. 
(b) Issued by State Board of Elections. - In ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections, the State Board of Elections shall issue a certificate of nomination or election, or a certificate of the results of the referendum, as appropriate. The certificate shall be issued by the State Board six days after the completion of the canvass pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5, unless there is an election protest pending. If there is an election protest, the certificate of nomination or election or the certificate of the result of the referendum shall be issued in one of the following ways, as appropriate: 
(1) The certificate shall be issued 10 days after the final decision of the State Board on the election protest, unless the State Board has ordered a new election or the issuance of the certificate is stayed by the Superior Court of Wake County pursuant to G.S. 163-182.14. 
(2) If the decision of the State Board has been appealed to the Superior Court of Wake County and the court has stayed the certification, the certificate shall be issued five days after the entry of a final order in the case in the Superior Court of Wake County, unless that court or an appellate court orders otherwise. 
(3) The certificate shall be issued immediately upon the filing of a copy of the determination of the General Assembly with the State Board of Elections in contested elections involving any elective office established by Article III of the Constitution. 
(4) No certificate of election need be issued for any member of the General Assembly following a contest of the election pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 120. 
(c) Copy to Secretary of State. - The State Board of Elections shall provide to the Secretary of State a copy of each certificate of nomination or election, or certificate of the results of a referendum, issued by it. The Secretary shall keep the certificates in a form readily accessible and useful to the public. 
(d) Determining Results. - In a primary for party nomination, the results shall be determined in accordance with G.S. 163-111. In a general election, the individuals having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected to the office, and the certificate shall be issued accordingly. In a referendum, the ballot proposal receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared to have prevailed, and the certificate shall be issued accordingly. (2001-398, s. 3; 2003-278, s. 10(k); 2005-3, s. 5; 2005-428, s. 13; 2007-391, s. 11; 2007-484, s. 22; 2008-187, s. 33(a).) 

GS 163-182.17. Summary of officials' duties under this Article. 
(a) This Section a Summary. - The provisions of this section provide a nonexclusive summary of the duties given to officials under this Article. The legal duty is contained, not in this section, but in the other sections of this Article. 
(b) Duties of the Precinct Officials. - Precinct officials, in accordance with rules of the State Board of Elections and under the supervision of the county board of elections, shall perform all of the following: 
(1) Count votes when votes are required to be counted at the voting place. G.S. 163-182.2. 
(2) Make an unofficial report of returns to the county board of elections. G.S. 163-182.2. 
(3) Certify the integrity of the vote and the security of the official ballots at the voting place. G.S. 163-182.2. 
(4) Return official ballots and equipment to the county board of elections. G.S. 163-182.2. 
(c) Duties of the County Board of Elections. - The county board of elections, in accordance with rules of the State Board of Elections, shall perform all of the following: 
(1) Count absentee and provisional official ballots and other official ballots required to be initially counted by the county board of elections. G.S. 163-182.2. 
(2) Canvass results in all ballot items on the official ballot in the county. G.S. 163-182.5. 
(3) Order a recount in any ballot item on the official ballot in the county, where necessary to complete the canvass, and where not prohibited from doing so. G.S. 163-182.7. 
(4) Conduct any recount that has been ordered by the county board of elections or the State Board of Elections or that has been properly demanded in accordance with G.S. 163-182.7(b). 
(5) Conduct hearings in election protests as provided in G.S. 163-182.10. 
(6) Prepare abstracts of returns in all the ballot items in the county. G.S. 163-182.6. 
(7) Retain one original abstract and distribute the other two originals as follows: 
a. One to the clerk of superior court in the county. 
b. One to the State Board of Elections. G.S. 163-182.6. 
(8) Issue a certificate of nomination or election or a certificate of the results of a referendum in each ballot item within the jurisdiction of the county board of elections. Provide a copy of the certificate to the clerk of court. G.S. 163-182.15. 
(d) Duties of the State Board of Elections. - The State Board of Elections shall perform all the following: 
(1) Promulgate rules as directed in this Article. G.S. 163-182.1, 163-182.2, 163-182.7, 163-182.10, and 163-182.13. 
(2) Provide supervisory direction to the county boards of elections as provided in this Article. G.S. 163-182.1 and G.S. 163-182.2. 
(3) Canvass the results in ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections. G.S. 163-182.5. 
(4) Order and supervise a recount in any ballot item within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections, where necessary to complete the canvass. G.S. 163-182.7. 
(5) Hear and decide appeals from decisions of county boards of elections in election protests. G.S. 163-182.11. 
(6) Order new elections in accordance with G.S. 163-182.15. 
(7) Prepare, in duplicate originals, composite abstracts of ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections. G.S. 163-182.6. 
(8) Retain one original of the composite abstract and deliver to the Secretary of State the other original composite abstract of the results of ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections. G.S. 163-182.6. 
(9) Certify the results of any election within the jurisdiction of the State Board of Elections and provide a copy to the Secretary of State. G.S. 163-182.15. 
(e) Duties of the Secretary of State. - The Secretary of State shall retain and compile in a useful form all the abstracts and returns provided by the county boards of elections and the State Board of Elections. G.S. 163-182.6. 
(f) Duty of the Governor. - The Governor shall issue a commission to any person elected to an office listed in G.S. 163-182.16 upon notification from the Secretary of State that a certificate of election has been issued to the person. G.S. 163-182.16. (2001-398, s. 3.) 

GS 163-91. Complaint procedure. 
(a) The State Board of Elections shall establish a complaint procedure as required by section 402 of Title IV of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 for the resolution of complaints alleging violations of Title III of that Act. 
(b) With respect to the adoption of the complaint procedure under this section, the State Board of Elections is exempt from the requirements of Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. Prior to adoption or amendment of the complaint procedure under this section, the State Board of Elections shall complete all of the following: 
(1) Publish the proposed plan in the North Carolina Register at least 30 days prior to the adoption of the final complaint procedure. 
(2) Accept oral and written comments on the proposed complaint procedure. 
(3) Hold at least one public hearing on the proposed complaint procedure. 
(c) Hearings and final determinations of complaints filed under the procedure adopted pursuant to this section are not subject to Articles 3 and 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. (2003-226, s. 17(a).) 

GS 163-132.3. Alterations to approved precinct boundaries. 
(a) No county board of elections may change any precinct boundary unless the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections determines that the county board has a current capability of complying with G.S. 163-132.1B(a2) by reporting all election returns by voting tabulation district as required by G.S. 163-132.5G. If the Executive Director so determines, the county board may make any changes to precinct boundaries, provided that all proposed new precincts shall consist solely of contiguous territory. The State Board of Elections may set uniform standards for precinct boundaries, which the county boards of elections shall follow. The county board of elections shall report every change in precinct boundary to the Executive Director in a format required by the Executive Director. 
The county boards of elections shall report precinct boundary changes to the Executive Director in the manner the Executive Director directs. No newly created or altered precinct boundary is effective until approved by the Executive Director of the State Board as being in compliance with this section. 
(b) The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections shall examine the maps of the proposed new or altered precincts and any required written descriptions. If the Executive Director of the State Board determines that all precinct boundaries are in compliance with this section, the Executive Director of the State Board shall approve the maps and written descriptions as filed and these precincts shall be the official precincts. 
(c) If the Executive Director of the State Board determines that the proposed precinct boundaries are not in compliance with subsection (a) of this section, the Executive Director shall not approve those precinct boundaries. The Executive Director shall notify the county board of elections of his disapproval specifying the reasons. The county board of elections may then resubmit new precinct maps and written descriptions to cure the reasons for their disapproval. 
(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2004-127, s. 1(a), effective August 15, 2004, and applicable to precincts established or changed on or after that date. 
(e) Repealed by Session Laws 2007-391, s. 6(b), effective January 1, 2008. (1985, c. 757, s. 205(a); 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1074, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 927, s. 1; 1993, c. 352, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 71; 1995, c. 423, ss. 2, 3; 1999-227, ss. 1, 2; 2001-319, ss. 10.1, 11; 2001-487, s. 96; 2002-159, s. 56; 2003-434, 1st Ex. Sess., s. 13; 2004-127, s. 1(a); 2007-391, s. 6(b); 2008-187, s. 33(b).) 
 
GS 163-132.3A. Alterations to precinct names. 
No county board of elections shall assign to any precinct a name that has been used after January 1, 1999, for a precinct comprising different territory. That requirement does not apply to a precinct change made under G.S. 163-132.3(a)(3). The county board of elections shall submit to the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections for approval every proposed change to a precinct name, and the Executive Director shall approve a name change only if it complies with this section. (2004-127, s. 1(b).) 
 
GS 163-132.5B. Exemption from Administrative Procedure Act. 
The State Board of Elections is exempt from the provisions of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes while acting under the authority of this Article. Appeals from a final decision of the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections under this Article shall be taken to the State Board of Elections within 30 days of that decision. The State Board shall approve, disapprove or modify the Executive Director's decision within 30 days of receipt of notice of appeal. Failure of the State Board to act within 30 days of receipt of notice of appeal shall constitute a final decision approving that of the Executive Director. Appeals from a final decision of the State Board under this Article shall be taken to the Superior Court of Wake County. (1987, c. 715, s. 4; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1074, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 11.) 
 
GS 163-132.5C. Local acts and township lines. 
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any local act, a county board of elections need not have the approval of any other county board or commission to make precinct boundary changes required by this Article. 
(b) Precinct boundaries established, retained or changed under this Article, or changed to follow a district line where a precinct has been divided in a districting plan, may cross township lines. (1987, c. 715, s. 4; 1989, c. 440, s. 5; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 927, s. 1; 1995, c. 423, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-132.5D. Retention of precinct maps. 
The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections shall retain the maps and written descriptions which he approves pursuant to G.S. 163-132.3. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 927, s. 1; 2001-319, s. 11.) 
 
GS 163-132.5F. U.S. Census data by voting tabulation district. 
The State shall request the U.S. Bureau of the Census for each decennial census to provide summaries of census data by voting tabulation district and shall participate in any U.S. Bureau of the Census' program to effectuate this provision. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 927, s. 1; 2007-391, s. 6(e); 2008-187, s. 33(b).) 
 
GS 163-132.5G. Voting data maintained by voting tabulation district. 
Each county board of elections shall maintain voting data by voting tabulation district as provided in G.S. 163-132.1B so that voting tabulation district returns for each item on the ballot shall include the votes cast by all residents of the voting tabulation district who voted, regardless of where they voted. The county board shall not be required to report returns by voting tabulation district for voters who voted other than at their precinct voting place on election day until 60 days after the election. In reporting returns, the county board shall not compromise the secrecy of an individual's ballot. The 60-day deadline for reporting returns by voting tabulation district does not relieve the county board of the duty to report all returns as soon as practicable after the election according to other categories specified by the State Board of Elections. The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules for the enforcement of this section. (2001-466, s. 2; 2003-183, s. 1; 2005-323, s. 1(e); 2007-391, s. 6(c); 2008-187, s. 33(b).) 

GS 163-128. Election precincts and voting places established or altered. 
(a) Each county shall be divided into a convenient number of precincts for the purpose of voting. Upon a resolution adopted by the county board of elections and approved by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections voters from a given precinct may be temporarily transferred, for the purpose of voting, to an adjacent precinct. Any such transfers shall be for the period of time equal only to the term of office of the county board of elections making such transfer. When such a resolution has been adopted by the county board of elections to assign voters from more than one precinct to the same precinct, then the county board of elections shall maintain separate registration and voting records, consistent with the procedure prescribed by the State Board of Elections, so as to properly identify the precinct in which such voters reside. The polling place for a precinct shall be located within the precinct or on a lot or tract adjoining the precinct. 
Except as provided by Article 12A of this Chapter, the county board of elections shall have power from time to time, by resolution, to establish, alter, discontinue, or create such new election precincts or voting places as it may deem expedient. Upon adoption of a resolution establishing, altering, discontinuing, or creating a precinct or voting place, the board shall give 45 days' notice thereof prior to the next primary or election. Notice shall be given by advertisement in a newspaper having general circulation in the county, by posting a copy of the resolution at the courthouse door and at the office of the county board of elections, and by mailing a copy of the resolution to the chairman of every political party in the county. Notice may additionally be made on a radio or television station or both, but such notice shall be in addition to the newspaper and other required notice. No later than 30 days prior to the primary or election, the county board of elections shall mail a notice of precinct change to each registered voter who as a result of the change will be assigned to a different voting place. 
(b) Each county board of elections shall prepare a map of the county on which the precinct boundaries are drawn or described, shall revise the map when boundaries are changed, and shall keep a copy of the current map on file and posted for public inspection at the office of the Board of Elections, and shall file a copy with the State Board of Elections. (Rev., s. 4313; 1913, c. 53; C.S., s. 5934; 1921, c. 180; 1933, c. 165, s. 3; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 570; 1973, c. 793, ss. 51-53; 1975, c. 798, s. 2; 1979, c. 785; 1981, c. 515, s. 1; 1985, c. 757, s. 205(b); 1989, c. 93, s. 4; c. 440, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 33; 1995, c. 423, s. 1; 2001-353, s. 2; 2006-264, s. 20.) 
 
GS 163-129. Structure at voting place; marking off limits of voting place. 
At the voting place in each precinct established under the provisions of G.S. 163-128, the county board of elections shall provide or procure by lease or otherwise a suitable structure or part of a structure in which registration and voting may be conducted. To this end, the county board of elections shall be entitled to demand and use any school or other State, county, or municipal building, or a part thereof, or any other building, or a part thereof, which is supported or maintained, in whole or in part by or through tax revenues provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to permit any board of elections to demand and use any tax exempt church property for such purposes without the express consent of the individual church involved, for the purpose of conducting registration and voting for any primary or election, and it may require that the requisitioned premises, or a part thereof, be vacated for these purposes. 
If a county board of elections requires that a tax-supported building be used as a voting place, that county board of elections may require that those in control of that building provide parking that is adequate for voters at the precinct, as determined by the county board of elections. 
The county board of elections shall inspect each precinct voting place to ascertain how it should be arranged for voting purposes, and shall direct the chief judge and judges of any precinct to define the voting place by roping off the area or otherwise enclosing it or by marking its boundaries. The boundaries of the voting place shall at any point lie no more than 100 feet from each ballot box or voting machine. The space so roped off or enclosed or marked for the voting place may contain area both inside and outside the structure in which registration and voting are to take place. (1929, c. 164, s. 17; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 54; 1983, c. 411, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 34; 1999-426, s. 5(a).) 
 
GS 163-130. Satellite voting places. 
A county board of elections by unanimous vote may, upon approval of a request submitted in writing to the State Board of Elections, establish a plan whereby elderly or disabled voters in a precinct may vote at designated sites within the precinct other than the regular voting place for that precinct. Any approval under this section is only effective for one year and shall be annually reviewed for extension. The State Board of Elections shall approve a county board's proposed plan if: 
(1) All the satellite voting places to be used are listed in the county's written request; 
(2) The plan will in the State Board's judgment overcome a barrier to voting by the elderly or disabled; 
(3) Adequate security against fraud is provided for; and 
(4) The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 10; 2013-381, s. 26.1(a).) 
 
GS 163-130.1. Out-of-precinct voting places. 
A county board of elections, by unanimous vote of all its members, may establish a voting place for a precinct that is located outside that precinct. The county board's proposal is subject to approval by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. The county board shall submit its proposal in writing to the Executive Director. Approval by the Executive Director of the county's proposed plan shall be conditioned upon the county board of elections' demonstrating that: 
(1) No facilities adequate to serve as a voting place are located in the precinct; 
(2) Adequate notification and publicity are provided to notify voters in the precinct of the new polling location; 
(3) The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation; 
(4) The new voting place meets all requirements for voting places including accessibility for elderly and disabled voters; and 
(5) The proposal provides adequately for security against fraud. 
Any approval granted by the Executive Director for a voting place outside the precinct is effective only for one primary and election and must be reevaluated by the county board of elections and the Executive Director annually to determine whether it is still the only available alternative for that precinct. (1999-426, s. 3(a); 2001-319, ss. 3(a), 11.) 
 
GS 163-130.2. Temporary use of two voting places for certain precincts. 
A county board of elections, by unanimous vote of all its members, may propose to designate two voting places to be used temporarily for the same precinct. The temporary designation of a voting place shall continue only for the term of office of the county board of elections making the designation. For any precinct that is temporarily given two voting places, the county board shall assign every voter to one or the other of those voting places. 
The county board's proposal is subject to approval by the Executive Director of the State Board of Elections. The county board shall submit its proposal in writing to the Executive Director. The Executive Director shall approve that proposal only if it finds all of the following: 
(1) That the precinct has more registered voters than can adequately be accommodated by any single potential voting place available for the precinct. 
(2) That no boundary line that complies with Article 12A of this Chapter can be identified that adequately divides the precinct. 
(3) That the county board can account for, by street address number, the location of every registered voter in the precinct and fix that voter's residence with certainty on a map. 
(4) That no more than three other precincts in the same county will have two voting places. 
(5) That both voting places for the precinct would have adequate facilities for the elderly and disabled. 
(6) That the proposal provides adequately for security against fraud. 
(7) That the proposal does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation. 
The county board shall designate a full set of precinct officials, in the manner set forth in Article 5 of this Chapter, for each voting place designated for the precinct. (1999-426, s. 4(a); 2001-319, ss. 4(a), 4(b), 11.) 
 
GS 163-131. Accessible polling places. 
(a) The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules to assure that any disabled or elderly voter assigned to an inaccessible polling place, upon advance request of such voter, will be assigned to an accessible polling place. Such rules should allow the request to be made in advance of the day of the election. 
(b) Words in this section have the meanings prescribed by P.L. 98-435, except that the term "disabled" in this section has the same meaning as "handicapped" in P.L. 98-435. (1999-424, s. 3(b).) 

GS 163-54. Registration a prerequisite to voting. 
Only such persons as are legally registered shall be entitled to vote in any primary or election held under this Chapter. (1901, c. 89, s. 12; Rev., s. 4317; C. S., s. 5938; 1967, c. 775, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-55. Qualifications to vote; exclusion from electoral franchise. 
(a) Residence Period for State Elections. - Every person born in the United States, and every person who has been naturalized, and who shall have resided in the State of North Carolina and in the precinct in which the person offers to vote for 30 days next preceding an election, shall, if otherwise qualified as prescribed in this Chapter, be qualified to vote in the precinct in which the person resides. Removal from one precinct to another in this State shall not operate to deprive any person of the right to vote in the precinct from which the person has removed until 30 days after the person's removal. 
Except as provided in this Chapter, the following classes of persons shall not be allowed to vote in this State: 
(1) Persons under 18 years of age. 
(2) Any person adjudged guilty of a felony against this State or the United States, or adjudged guilty of a felony in another state that also would be a felony if it had been committed in this State, unless that person shall be first restored to the rights of citizenship in the manner prescribed by law. 
(b) Precincts. - For purposes of qualification to vote in an election, a person's residence in a precinct shall be determined in accordance with G.S. 163-57. Qualification to vote in referenda shall be treated the same as qualification for elections to fill offices. 
(c) Elections. - For purposes of the 30-day residence requirement to vote in an election in subsection (a) of this section, the term "election" means the day of the primary, second primary, general election, special election, or referendum. (19th amendt. U.S. Const.; amendt. State Const., 1920; 1901, c. 89, ss. 14, 15; Rev., ss. 4315, 4316; C.S., ss. 5936, 5937; Ex. Sess. 1920, c. 18, s. 1; 1933, c. 165, s. 4; 1945, c. 758, s. 7; 1955, c. 871, s. 2; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1231, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 18; 2005-2, s. 2; 2008-150, s. 5(a); 2009-541, s. 5; 2013-381, s. 49.1.) 
 
GS 163-57. Residence defined for registration and voting. 
All election officials in determining the residence of a person offering to register or vote, shall be governed by the following rules, so far as they may apply: 
(1) That place shall be considered the residence of a person in which that person's habitation is fixed, and to which, whenever that person is absent, that person has the intention of returning. 
a. In the event that a person's habitation is divided by a State, county, municipal, precinct, ward, or other election district, then the location of the bedroom or usual sleeping area for that person with respect to the location of the boundary line at issue shall be controlling as the residency of that person. 
b. If the person disputes the determination of residency, the person may request a hearing before the county board of elections making the determination of residency. The procedures for notice of hearing and the conduct of the hearing shall be as provided in G.S. 163-86. The presentation of an accurate and current determination of a person's residence and the boundary line at issue by map or other means available shall constitute prima facie evidence of the geographic location of the residence of that person. 
c. In the event that a person's residence is not a traditional residence associated with real property, then the location of the usual sleeping area for that person shall be controlling as to the residency of that person. Residence shall be broadly construed to provide all persons with the opportunity to register and to vote, including stating a mailing address different from residence address. 
(2) A person shall not be considered to have lost that person's residence if that person leaves home and goes into another state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district of this State, for temporary purposes only, with the intention of returning. 
(3) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district of this State, into which that person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making that county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district a permanent place of abode. 
(4) If a person removes to another state or county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district within this State, with the intention of making that state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district a permanent residence, that person shall be considered to have lost residence in the state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person has removed. 
(5) If a person removes to another state or county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district within this State, with the intention of remaining there an indefinite time and making that state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district that person's place of residence, that person shall be considered to have lost that person's place of residence in this State, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person has removed, notwithstanding that person may entertain an intention to return at some future time. 
(6) If a person goes into another state, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district, or into the District of Columbia, and while there exercises the right of a citizen by voting in an election, that person shall be considered to have lost residence in that State, county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person removed. 
(7) School teachers who remove to a county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district in this State for the purpose of teaching in the schools of that county temporarily and with the intention or expectation of returning during vacation periods to live where their parents or other relatives reside in this State and who do not have the intention of becoming residents of the county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district to which they have moved to teach, for purposes of registration and voting shall be considered residents of the county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district in which their parents or other relatives reside. 
(8) If a person removes to the District of Columbia or other federal territory to engage in the government service, that person shall not be considered to have lost residence in this State during the period of such service unless that person votes in the place to which the person removed, and the place at which that person resided at the time of that person's removal shall be considered and held to be the place of residence. 
(9) If a person removes to a county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district to engage in the service of the State government, that person shall not be considered to have lost residence in the county, municipality, precinct, ward, or other election district from which that person removed, unless that person votes in the place to which the person removed, and the place at which that person resided at the time of that person's removal shall be considered and held to be the place of residence. 
(9a) The establishment of a secondary residence by an elected official outside the district of the elected official shall not constitute prima facie evidence of a change of residence. 
(10) For the purpose of voting a spouse shall be eligible to establish a separate domicile. 
(11) So long as a student intends to make the student's home in the community where the student is physically present for the purpose of attending school while the student is attending school and has no intent to return to the student's former home after graduation, the student may claim the college community as the student's domicile. The student need not also intend to stay in the college community beyond graduation in order to establish domicile there. This subdivision is intended to codify the case law. (19th amendt. U.S. Const.; amendt. State Const., 1920; 1901, c. 89, s. 15; Rev., s. 4316; C.S., s. 5937; Ex. Sess. 1920, c. 18, s. 1; 1933, c. 165, s. 4; 1945, c. 758, s. 7; 1955, c. 871, s. 2; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1981, c. 184; 1991, c. 727, s. 5.1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 22; 2001-316, s. 1; 2005-428, s. 3(b); 2006-262, s. 2.1.) 

GS 163-82.1. General principles of voter registration. 
(a) Prerequisite to Voting. - No person shall be permitted to vote who has not been registered under the provisions of this Article or registered as previously provided by law. 
(b) County Board's Duty to Register. - A county board of elections shall register, in accordance with this Article, every person qualified to vote in that county who makes an application in accordance with this Article. 
(c) Permanent Registration. - Every person registered to vote by a county board of elections in accordance with this Article shall remain registered until: 
(1) The registrant requests in writing to the county board of elections to be removed from the list of registered voters; or 
(2) The registrant becomes disqualified through death, conviction of a felony, or removal out of the county; or 
(3) The county board of elections determines, through the procedure outlined in G.S. 163-82.14, that it can no longer confirm where the voter resides. 
(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(a), effective September 1, 2013. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, s. 25; 1975, c. 395; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s. 1; c. 308, s. 1; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 7(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.2. Chief State Election Official. 
The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections is the "Chief State Election Official" of North Carolina for purposes of P.L. 103-31, The National Voter Registration Act of 1993, subsequently referred to in this Article as the "National Voter Registration Act". As such the Executive Director is responsible for coordination of State responsibilities under the National Voter Registration Act. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 11.) 
 
GS 163-82.3. Voter registration application forms. 
(a) Form Developed by State Board of Elections. - The State Board of Elections shall develop an application form for voter registration. Any person may use the form to apply to do any of the following: 
(1) Register to vote. 
(2) Change party affiliation or unaffiliated status. 
(3) Report a change of address within a county. 
(4) Report a change of name. 
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(b), effective September 1, 2013. 
The county board of elections for the county where the applicant resides shall accept the form as application for any of those purposes if the form is submitted as set out in G.S. 163-82.3. 
(b) Interstate Form. - The county board of elections where an applicant resides shall accept as application for any of the purposes set out in subsection (a) of this section the interstate registration form designed by the Federal Election Commission pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act, if the interstate form is submitted in accordance with G.S. 163-82.6. 
(c) Agency Application Form. - The county board of elections where an applicant resides shall accept as application for any of the purposes set out in subsection (a) of this section a form developed pursuant to G.S. 163-82.19 or G.S. 163-82.20. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 8(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(b).) 
 
GS 163-82.4. Contents of application form. 
(a) Information Requested of Applicant. - The form required by G.S. 163-82.3(a) shall request the applicant's: 
(1) Name, 
(2) Date of birth, 
(3) Residence address, 
(4) County of residence, 
(5) Date of application, 
(6) Gender, 
(7) Race, 
(7a) Ethnicity, 
(8) Political party affiliation, if any, in accordance with subsection (c) of this section, 
(9) Telephone number (to assist the county board of elections in contacting the voter if needed in processing the application), 
(10) 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. 
(a1) 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. 
(b) 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. 
(c) 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. 
(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 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. Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 12.1(c), effective September 1, 2013. 
c. "If you checked 'no' in response to this question, do not submit this form." 
(3) Repealed by Session Laws 2009-541, s. 9(a), effective January 1, 2010. 
(e) 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. 163-182.5(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. (1901, c. 89, s. 12; Rev., s. 4319; C.S., s. 5940; Ex. Sess. 1920, c. 93; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1951, c. 984, s. 1; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; c. 871, s. 2; 1957, c. 784, s. 2; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 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).) 
 
GS 163-82.5. Distribution of application forms. 
The State Board of Elections shall make the forms described in G.S. 163-82.3 available for distribution through governmental and private entities, with particular emphasis on making them available for organized voter registration drives. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-82.6. Acceptance of application forms. 
(a) How the Form May Be Submitted. - The county board of elections shall accept any form described in G.S. 163-82.3 if the applicant submits the form by mail, facsimile transmission, transmission of a scanned document, or in person. The applicant may delegate the submission of the form to another person. Any person who communicates to an applicant acceptance of that delegation shall deliver that form so that it is received by the appropriate county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to communicate to the applicant acceptance of that delegation and then fail to make a good faith effort to deliver the form so that it is received by the county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of failing to make a good faith effort to deliver a delegated form by the registration deadline that the delegatee informed the applicant that the form would not likely be delivered in time for the applicant to vote in the next election. It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or to condition its delivery upon payment. 
(a1) Misdemeanors. - It shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to do any of the following: 
(1) To communicate to the applicant acceptance of the delegation described in subsection (a) of this section and then fail to make a good faith effort to deliver the form so that it is received by the county board of elections in time to satisfy the registration deadline in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (c) of this section for the next election. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge of failing to make a good faith effort to deliver a delegated form by the registration deadline that the delegatee informed the applicant that the form would not likely be delivered in time for the applicant to vote in the next election. 
(2) To sell or attempt to sell a completed voter registration form or to condition its delivery upon payment. 
(3) To change a person's information on a voter registration form prior to its delivery to a county board of elections. 
(4) To coerce a person into marking a party affiliation other than the party affiliation the person desires. 
(5) To offer a person a voter registration form that has a party affiliation premarked unless the person receiving the form has requested the premarking. 
(b) Signature. - The form shall be valid only if signed by the applicant. An electronically captured signature, including signatures on applications generated by computer programs of third-party groups, shall not be valid on a voter registration form, except as provided in Article 21A of this Chapter. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, an electronically captured image of the signature of a voter on an electronic voter registration form offered by a State agency shall be considered a valid signature for all purposes for which a signature on a paper voter registration form is used. 
(c) Registration Deadlines for a Primary or Election. - In order to be valid for a primary or election, the form: 
(1) If submitted by mail, must be postmarked at least 25 days before the primary or election, except that any mailed application on which the postmark is missing or unclear is validly submitted if received in the mail not later than 20 days before the primary or election, 
(2) If submitted in person, by facsimile transmission, or by transmission of a scanned document, must be received by the county board of elections by a time established by that board, but no earlier than 5:00 P.M., on the twenty-fifth day before the primary or election, 
(3) If submitted through a delegatee who violates the duty set forth in subsection (a) of this section, must be signed by the applicant and given to the delegatee not later than 25 days before the primary or election, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. 
(c1) If the application is submitted by facsimile transmission or transmission of a scanned document, a permanent copy of the completed, signed form shall be delivered to the county board no later than 20 days before the election. 
(d) Instances When Person May Register and Vote on Primary or Election Day. - If a person has become qualified to register and vote between the twenty-fifth day before a primary or election and primary or election day, then that person may apply to register on primary or election day by submitting an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b) to: 
(1) A member of the county board of elections; 
(2) The county director of elections; or 
(3) The chief judge or a judge of the precinct in which the person is eligible to vote, 
and, if the application is approved, that person may vote the same day. The official in subdivisions (1) through (3) of this subsection to whom the application is submitted shall decide whether the applicant is eligible to vote. The applicant shall present to the official written or documentary evidence that the applicant is the person he represents himself to be. The official, if in doubt as to the right of the applicant to register, may require other evidence satisfactory to that official as to the applicant's qualifications. If the official determines that the person is eligible, the person shall be permitted to vote in the primary or election and the county board shall add the person's name to the list of registered voters. If the official denies the application, the person shall be permitted to vote a challenged ballot under the provisions of G.S. 163-88.1, and may appeal the denial to the full county board of elections. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the county boards of elections to follow in hearing appeals for denial of primary or election day applications to register. No person shall be permitted to register on the day of a second primary unless he shall have become qualified to register and vote between the date of the first primary and the date of the succeeding second primary. 
(e) For purposes of subsection (d) of this section, persons who "become qualified to register and vote" during a time period: 
(1) Include those who during that time period are naturalized as citizens of the United States or who are restored to citizenship after a conviction of a felony; but 
(2) Do not include persons who reach the age of 18 during that time period, if those persons were eligible to register while 17 years old during an earlier period. 
(f) The county board of elections shall forward by electronic means any application submitted for the purpose of preregistration to the State Board of Elections. No later than 60 days prior to the first election in which the applicant will be legally entitled to vote, the State Board of Elections shall notify the appropriate county board of elections to verify the qualifications and address of the applicant in accordance with G.S. 163-82.7. (1901, c. 89, ss. 18, 21; Rev., ss. 4322, 4323; C.S., ss. 5946, 5947; 1923, c. 111, s. 3; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1947, c. 475; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 784, ss., 3, 4; 1961, c. 382; 1963, c. 303, ss. 1, 2; 1967, c. 761, s. 3; c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 750, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 5; c. 766, s., 2; 1981, c. 33, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 6; 1983, c. 553; 1985, c. 260, s. 1; 1991, c. 363, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 1997-456, s. 27; 1999-426, s. 1(a), (b); 2001-315, s. 1; 2001-319, s. 6(a); 2003-226, s. 4; 2004-127, s. 9(a); 2007-253, s. 2; 2007-391, s. 16(a); 2008-150, s. 5(d), (e); 2009-541, s. 10(a); 2013-381, ss. 13.1, 16.3.) 
 
GS 163-82.6A. Address and name changes at one-stop sites. 
(a) through (d) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 16.1, effective January 1, 2014. 
(e) Change of Registration at One-Stop Voting Site. - A person who is already registered to vote in the county may update the information in the registration record in accordance with procedures prescribed by the State Board of Elections, but an individual's party affiliation may not be changed during the one-stop voting period before any first or second partisan primary in which the individual is eligible to vote. 
(f) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-381, s. 16.1, effective January 1, 2014. (2007-253, s. 1; 2009-541, s. 11; 2013-381, ss. 16.1, 16.1A.) 
 
GS 163-82.7. Verification of qualifications and address of applicant; denial or approval of application. 
(a) Tentative Determination of Qualification. - When a county board of elections receives an application for registration submitted pursuant to G.S. 163-82.6, the board either: 
(1) Shall make a determination that the applicant is not qualified to vote at the address given, or 
(2) Shall make a tentative determination that the applicant is qualified to vote at the address given, subject to the mail verification notice procedure outlined in subsection (c) of this section 
within a reasonable time after receiving the application. 
(b) Denial of Registration. - If the county board of elections makes a determination pursuant to subsection (a) of this section that the applicant is not qualified to vote at the address given, the board shall send, by certified mail, a notice of denial of registration. The notice of denial shall contain the date on which registration was denied, and shall be mailed within two business days after denial. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant of alternatives that the applicant may pursue to exercise the franchise. If the applicant disagrees with the denial, the applicant may appeal the decision under G.S. 163-82.18. 
(c) Verification of Address by Mail. - If the county board of elections tentatively determines that the applicant is qualified to vote at the address given, then the county board shall send a notice to the applicant, by nonforwardable mail, at the address the applicant provides on the application form. The notice shall state that the county will register the applicant to vote if the Postal Service does not return the notice as undeliverable to the county board. The notice shall also inform the applicant of the precinct and voting place to which the applicant will be assigned if registered. 
(d) Approval of Application. - If the Postal Service does not return the notice as undeliverable, the county board shall register the applicant to vote. 
(e) Second Notice if First Notice Is Returned as Undeliverable. - If the Postal Service returns the notice as undeliverable, the county board shall send a second notice by nonforwardable mail to the same address to which the first was sent. If the second notice is not returned as undeliverable, the county board shall register the applicant to vote. 
(f) Denial of Application Based on Lack of Verification of Address. - If the Postal Service returns as undeliverable the notice sent by nonforwardable mail pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, the county board shall deny the application. The county board need not try to notify the applicant further. 
(g) Voting When Verification Process Is Incomplete. - In cases where an election occurs before the process of verification outlined in this section has had time to be completed, the county board of elections shall be guided by the following rules: 
(1) If the county board has made a tentative determination that an applicant is qualified to vote under subsection (a) of this section, then that person shall not be denied the right to vote in person in an election unless the Postal Service has returned as undeliverable two notices to the applicant: one mailed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and one mailed pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. This subdivision does not preclude a challenge to the voter's qualifications under Article 8 of this Chapter. 
(2) If the Postal Service has returned as undeliverable a notice sent within 25 days before the election to the applicant under subsection (c) of this section, then the applicant may vote only in person in that first election and may not vote by absentee ballot except in person under G.S. 163-227.2. The county board of elections shall establish a procedure at the voting site for: 
a. Obtaining the correct address of any person described in this subdivision who appears to vote in person; and 
b. Assuring that the person votes in the proper place and in the proper contests. 
If a notice mailed under subsection (c) or subsection (e) of this section is returned as undeliverable after a person has already voted by absentee ballot, then that person's ballot may be challenged in accordance with G.S. 163-89. 
(3) If a notice sent pursuant to subsection (c) or (e) of this section is returned by the Postal Service as undeliverable after a person has already voted in an election, then the county board shall treat the person as a registered voter but shall send a confirmation mailing pursuant to G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2) and remove or retain the person on the registration records in accordance with that subdivision. (1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 18(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1999-455, s. 16.) 
 
GS 163-82.7A. Declaration of religious objection to photograph. 
(a) At the time of approval of the application to register to vote, a voter with a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed may execute a declaration before an election official to that effect to be incorporated as part of the official record of voter registration. 
(b) At any time after the voter has registered to vote that the voter has determined the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may execute a declaration before an election official to be incorporated as part of the official record of that voter's voter registration. 
(c) At any time after a voter has executed a declaration before an election official under this section and that voter no longer has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed, that voter may request the cancellation of the declaration in writing to the county board. 
(d) All declarations under subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall include a statement by the voter that the voter has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed and a requirement for the signature of the voter, which includes a notice that a false or fraudulent declaration is a Class I felony pursuant to G.S. 163-275(13). 
(e) The State Board shall adopt rules to establish a standard form for the administration of this section. (2013-381, s. 2.3.) 
 
GS 163-82.8. Voter registration cards. 
(a) Authority to Issue Card. - With the approval of the board of county commissioners, the county board of elections may issue to each voter in the county a voter registration card, or may issue cards to all voters registered after January 1, 1995. 
(b) Content and Format of Card. - At a minimum, the voter registration card shall: 
(1) List the voter's name, address, and voting place; 
(2) Contain the address and telephone number of the county board of elections, along with blanks to report a change of address within the county, change of name, and change of party affiliation; and 
(3) Be wallet size. 
No voter registration card may be issued by a county board of elections unless the State Board of Elections has approved the format of the card. 
(c) Ways County Board and Registrant May Use Card. - If the county board of elections issues voter registration cards, the county board may use that card as a notice of tentative approval of the voter's application pursuant to G.S. 163-82.7(c), provided that the mailing contains the statements and information required in that subsection. The county board may also satisfy the requirements of G.S. 163-82.15(b), 163-82.16(b), or 163-82.17(b) by sending the registrant a replacement of the voter registration card to verify change of address, change of name, or change of party affiliation. A registrant may use the card to report a change of address, change of name, or change of party affiliation, satisfying G.S. 163-82.15, 163-82.16, or 163-82.17. 
(d) Card as Evidence of Registration. - A voter registration card shall be evidence of registration but shall not preclude a challenge as permitted by law. 
(e) Display of Card May Not Be Required to Vote. - No county board of elections may require that a voter registration card be displayed in order to vote. A county board of elections may notify a voter that the voter's registration card may be used for the required identification in conjunction with a reasonable impediment declaration in accordance with G.S. 163-166.15. (1901, c. 89, ss. 18, 21; Rev., ss. 4322, 4323; C.S., ss. 5946, 5947; 1923, c. 111, s. 3; 1933, c. 165, s. 5; 1947, c. 475; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1957, c. 784, ss. 3, 4; 1961, c. 382; 1963, c. 303, ss. 1, 2; 1967, c. 761, s. 3; c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 750, ss. 1, 2; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1979, c. 539, s. 5; c. 766, s. 2; 1981, c. 33, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1265, s. 6; 1983, c. 553; 1985, c. 260, s. 1; 1991, c. 363, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2015-103, s. 8(f).) 
 
GS 163-82.9. Cancellation of prior registration. 
If an applicant indicates on an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3 a current registration to vote in any other county, municipality, or state, the county board of elections, upon registering the person to vote, shall send a notice to the appropriate officials in the other county, municipality, or state and shall ask them to cancel the person's voter registration there. If an applicant completes an application form described in G.S. 163-82.3 except that the applicant neglects to complete the portion of the form that authorizes cancellation of previous registration in another county, the State Board of Elections shall notify the county board of elections in the previous county of the new registration, and the board in the previous county shall cancel the registration. The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules to prevent disenfranchisement in the implementation of this section. Those rules shall include adequate notice to the person whose previous registration is to be cancelled. (1973, c. 793, s. 28; c. 1223, s. 4; 1977, c. 265, s. 3; 1983, c. 411, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 509, s. 115; 2005-428, s. 9.) 
 
GS 163-82.10. Official record of voter registration. 
(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 of Elections 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 of Elections. 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. 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 Article 21A of this Chapter, and drivers license numbers that may be generated in the voter registration process, by either the State Board of Elections 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. The signature of the voter, either on the paper application or an electronically captured image of it, 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. 
(a1) Paperless, Instant Electronic Transfer. - The application described in G.S. 163-82.3 may be either a paper hard copy or an electronic document. 
(b) 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 (c) 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). 
(c) 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. 
(d) Exception for Address of Certain Registered Voters. - Notwithstanding subsections (b) and (c) 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. (1901, c. 89, s. 83; Rev., s. 4382; C.S., s. 6016; 1931, c. 80; 1939, c. 263, s. 31/2; 1949, c. 916, ss. 6, 7; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1959, c. 883; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 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).) 
 
GS 163-82.10A. Permanent voter registration numbers. 
The statewide voter registration system shall assign to each voter a unique registration number. That number shall be permanent for that voter and shall not be changed or reassigned by the county board of elections. (2001-319, s. 8.1(a); 2003-226, s. 10.) 
 
GS 163-82.10B. Confidentiality of date of birth. 
Boards of elections shall keep confidential the date of birth of every voter-registration applicant and registered voter, except in the following situations: 
(1) When a voter has filed notice of candidacy for elective office under G.S. 163-106, 163-122, 163-123, or 163-294.2, or 163-323, has been nominated as a candidate under G.S. 163-98 or G.S. 163-114, or has otherwise formally become a candidate for elective office. The exception of this subdivision does not extend to an individual who meets the definition of "candidate" only by beginning a tentative candidacy by receiving funds or making payments or giving consent to someone else to receive funds or transfer something of value for the purpose of exploring a candidacy. 
(2) When a voter is serving in an elective office. 
(3) When a voter has been challenged pursuant to Article 8 of this Chapter. 
(4) When a voter-registration applicant or registered voter expressly authorizes in writing the disclosure of that individual's date of birth. 
(5) When requested by a county jury commission established pursuant to G.S. 9-1 for purposes of preparing the master jury list in that county pursuant to G.S. 9-2. 
The disclosure of an individual's age does not constitute disclosure of date of birth in violation of this section. 
The county board of elections shall give precinct officials access to a voter's date of birth where necessary for election administration, consistent with the duty to keep dates of birth confidential. 
Disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this section shall not give rise to a civil cause of action. This limitation of liability does not apply to the disclosure of a date of birth in violation of this subsection as a result of gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing that would otherwise be actionable. (2004-127, s. 17(a); 2013-166, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-82.11. Establishment of statewide computerized voter registration. 
(a) Statewide System as Official List. - The State Board of Elections shall develop and implement a statewide computerized voter registration system to facilitate voter registration and to provide a central database containing voter registration information for each county. The system shall serve as the single system for storing and managing the official list of registered voters in the State. The system shall serve as the official voter registration list for the conduct of all elections in the State. The system shall encompass both software development and purchasing of the necessary hardware for the central and distributed-network systems. 
(b) Uses of Statewide System. - The State Board of Elections shall develop and implement the system so that each county board of elections can do all the following: 
(1) Verify that an applicant to register in its county is not also registered in another county. 
(2) Be notified automatically that a registered voter in its county has registered to vote in another county. 
(3) Receive automatically data about a person who has applied to vote at a drivers license office or at another public agency that is authorized to accept voter registration applications. 
(c) Compliance With Federal Law. - The State Board of Elections shall update the statewide computerized voter registration list and database to meet the requirements of section 303(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and to reflect changes when citizenship rights are restored under G.S. 13-1. 
(d) Role of County and State Boards of Elections. - Each county board of elections shall be responsible for registering voters within its county according to law. Each county board of elections shall maintain its records by using the statewide computerized voter registration system in accordance with rules promulgated by the State Board of Elections. Each county board of elections shall enter through the computer system all additions, deletions, and changes in its list of registered voters promptly to the statewide computer system. 
(e) Cooperation on List for Jury Commission. - The State Board of Elections shall assist the Division of Motor Vehicles in providing to the county jury commission of each county, as required by G.S. 20-43.4, a list of all registered voters in the county and all persons in the county with drivers license records. The list of registered voters provided by the State Board of Elections shall not include any registered voter who has been inactive for eight years or more. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2003-226, s. 6; 2007-512, s. 4.) 
 
GS 163-82.12. Promulgation of guidelines relating to computerized voter registration. 
The State Board of Elections shall make all guidelines necessary to administer the statewide voter registration system established by this Article. All county boards of elections shall follow these guidelines and cooperate with the State Board of Elections in implementing guidelines. These guidelines shall include provisions for all of the following: 
(1) Establishing, developing, and maintaining a computerized central voter registration file. 
(2) Linking the central file through a network with computerized voter registration files in each of the counties. 
(3) Interacting with the computerized drivers license records of the Division of Motor Vehicles and with the computerized records of other public agencies authorized to accept voter registration applications. 
(4) Protecting and securing the data. 
(5) Converting current voter registration records in the counties in computer files that can be used on the statewide computerized registration system. 
(6) Enabling the statewide system to determine whether the voter identification information provided by an individual is valid. 
(7) Enabling the statewide system to interact electronically with the Division of Motor Vehicles system to validate identification information. 
(8) Enabling the Division of Motor Vehicles to provide real-time interface for the validation of the drivers license number and last four digits of the social security number. 
(8b) Notifying voter-registration applicants whose drivers license or last four digits of social security number does not result in a validation, attempting to resolve the discrepancy, initiating investigations under G.S. 163-33(3) or challenges under Article 8 of this Chapter where warranted, and notifying any voters of the requirement under G.S. 163-166.12(b2) to present identification when voting. 
(9) Enabling the statewide system to assign a unique identifier to each legally registered voter in the State. 
(10) Enabling the State Board of Elections to assist the Division of Motor Vehicles in providing to the jury commission of each county, as required by G.S. 20-43.4, a list of all registered voters in the county and all persons in the county with drivers license records. 
These guidelines shall not be considered to be rules subject to Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. However, the State Board shall publish in the North Carolina Register the guidelines and any changes to them after adoption, with that publication noted as information helpful to the public under G.S. 150B-21.17(a)(6). Copies of those guidelines shall be made available to the public upon request or otherwise by the State Board. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2003-226, s. 7(a); 2007-391, s. 21(b); 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-410, s. 14(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.13. Access to statewide voter registration file. 
(a) Free Copy for Political Parties. - Beginning January 1, 1996, the State Board of Elections shall make available free of charge, upon written request, one magnetic copy of the statewide computerized voter registration file to the chairman of each political party as defined in G.S. 163-96 as soon as practicable after the close of registration before every statewide primary and election. The file made available to the political party chairmen shall contain the name, address, gender, age but not date of birth, race, voting history, political affiliation, and precinct of every registered voter in the State. If a county board enters telephone numbers into its computer lists of registered voters, then the free list provided under this subsection shall include telephone numbers. 
(b) Copies for Sale to Others. - Beginning January 1, 1996, the State Board of Elections shall sell, upon written request, to other public and private organizations and persons magnetic copies of the statewide computerized voter registration file. The State Board of Elections may sell selective lists of registered voters according to county, congressional or legislative district, party affiliation, gender, age but not date of birth, race, date of registration, or any other reasonable category, or a combination of categories. The State Board of Elections shall require all persons to whom any list is furnished under this subsection to reimburse the board for the actual cost incurred in preparing it.(1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2004-127, s. 17(d).) 
 
GS 163-82.14. List maintenance. 
(a) Uniform Program. - The State Board of Elections shall adopt a uniform program that makes a diligent effort not less than twice each year: 
(1) To remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters, and 
(2) To update the addresses and other necessary data of persons who remain on the official lists of eligible voters. 
That program shall be nondiscriminatory and shall comply with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, and with the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act. The State Board of Elections, in addition to the methods set forth in this section, may use other methods toward the ends set forth in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, including address-updating services provided by the Postal Service, and entering into data sharing agreements with other states to cross-check information on voter registration and voting records. Any data sharing agreement shall require the other state or states to comply with G.S. 163-82.10 and G.S. 163-82.10B. Each county board of elections shall conduct systematic efforts to remove names from its list of registered voters in accordance with this section and with the program adopted by the State Board. The county boards of elections shall complete their list maintenance mailing program by April 15 of every odd-numbered year, unless the State Board of Elections approves a different date for the county. 
(b) Death. - The Department of Health and Human Services shall furnish free of charge to the State Board of Elections every month, in a format prescribed by the State Board of Elections, the names of deceased persons who were residents of the State. The State Board of Elections shall distribute every month to each county board of elections the names on that list of deceased persons who were residents of that county. The Department of Health and Human Services shall base each list upon information supplied by death certifications it received during the preceding month. Upon the receipt of those names, each county board of elections shall remove from its voter registration records any person the list shows to be dead. Each county board of elections shall also remove from its voter registration records a person identified as deceased by a signed statement of a near relative or personal representative of the estate of the deceased voter. The county board need not send any notice to the address of the person so removed. 
(c) Conviction of a Felony. - 
(1) Report of Conviction Within the State. - The State Board of Elections, on or before the fifteenth day of every month, shall report to the county board of elections of that county the name, county of residence, and residence address if available, of each individual against whom a final judgment of conviction of a felony has been entered in that county in the preceding calendar month. 
(2) Report of Federal Conviction. - The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, upon receipt of a notice of conviction sent by a United States Attorney pursuant to section 8(g) of the National Voter Registration Act, shall notify the appropriate county boards of elections of the conviction. 
(3) County Board's Duty Upon Receiving Report of Conviction. - When a county board of elections receives a notice pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection relating to a resident of that county and that person is registered to vote in that county, the board shall, after giving 30 days' written notice to the voter at his registration address, and if the voter makes no objection, remove the person's name from its registration records. If the voter notifies the county board of elections of his objection to the removal within 30 days of the notice, the chairman of the board of elections shall enter a challenge under G.S. 163-85(c)(5), and the notice the county board received pursuant to this subsection shall be prima facie evidence for the preliminary hearing that the registrant was convicted of a felony. 
(d) Change of Address. - A county board of elections shall conduct a systematic program to remove from its list of registered voters those who have moved out of the county, and to update the registration records of persons who have moved within the county. The county board shall remove a person from its list if the registrant: 
(1) Gives confirmation in writing of a change of address for voting purposes out of the county. "Confirmation in writing" for purposes of this subdivision shall include: 
a. A report to the county board from the Department of Transportation or from a voter registration agency listed in G.S. 163-82.20 that the voter has reported a change of address for voting purposes outside the county; 
b. A notice of cancellation received under G.S. 163-82.9; or 
c. A notice of cancellation received from an election jurisdiction outside the State. 
(2) Fails to respond to a confirmation mailing sent by the county board in accordance with this subdivision and does not vote or appear to vote in an election beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the day after the date of the second general election for the United States House of Representatives that occurs after the date of the notice. A county board sends a confirmation notice in accordance with this subdivision if the notice: 
a. Is a postage prepaid and preaddressed return card, sent by forwardable mail, on which the registrant may state current address; 
b. Contains or is accompanied by a notice to the effect that if the registrant did not change residence but remained in the county, the registrant should return the card not later than the deadline for registration by mail in G.S. 163-82.6(c)(1); and 
c. Contains or is accompanied by information as to how the registrant may continue to be eligible to vote if the registrant has moved outside the county. 
A county board shall send a confirmation mailing in accordance with this subdivision to every registrant after every congressional election if the county board has not confirmed the registrant's address by another means. 
(3) Any registrant who is removed from the list of registered voters pursuant to this subsection shall be reinstated if the voter appears to vote and gives oral or written affirmation that the voter has not moved out of the county but has maintained residence continuously within the county. That person shall be allowed to vote as provided in G.S. 163-82.15(f). 
(e) Cooperation on List Maintenance Efforts. - The State Board has the authority to perform list maintenance under this section with the same authority as a county board. (1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1965, c. 1116, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 25, 28; c. 1223, s. 4; 1975, c. 395; 1977, c. 265, s. 3; 1981, c. 39, s. 1; c. 87, s. 1; c. 308, s. 1; 1983, c. 411, ss. 1, 2; 1985, c. 211, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 691, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.117; 1999-453, s. 7(a), (b); 2001-319, ss. 8(a), 11; 2005-428, s. 14; 2007-391, ss. 18, 32; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-381, ss. 18.1, 39.1(b); 2014-111, s. 16.) 
 
GS 163-82.15. Change of address within the county. 
(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - No registered voter shall be required to re-register upon moving from one precinct to another within the same county. Instead, a registrant shall notify the county board of the change of address by the close of registration for an election as set out in G.S. 163-82.6(c). In addition to any other method allowed by G.S. 163-82.6, the form may be submitted by electronic facsimile, under the same deadlines as if it had been submitted in person. The registrant shall make the notification by means of a voter registration form as described in G.S. 163-82.3, or by another written notice, signed by the registrant, that includes the registrant's full name, former residence address, new residence address, and the registrant's attestation that the registrant moved at least 30 days before the next primary or election from the old to the new address. 
(b) Verification of New Address by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice that a registrant in that county has changed residence within the same county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant at the new address. The notice shall inform the registrant of any new precinct and voting place that will result from the change of address, and it shall state whether the registrant shall vote at the new voting place during the upcoming election or at a later election. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall either: 
(1) Send a second notice by nonforwardable mail to the new address and, if it is returned as undeliverable, send to the registrant's old address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2); or 
(2) Send to the registrant's old address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2) without first sending a second nonforwardable notice to the new address. 
In either case, if the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d). 
(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's new address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the county board shall as soon as practical change the record to reflect the new address. 
(d) Unreported Move Within the Same Precinct. - A registrant who has moved from one address to another within the same precinct shall, notwithstanding failure to notify the county board of the change of address before an election, be permitted to vote at the voting place of that precinct upon oral or written affirmation by the registrant of the change of address before a precinct official at that voting place. 
(e) Unreported Move to Another Precinct Within the County. - If a registrant has moved from an address in one precinct to an address in another precinct within the same county more than 30 days before an election and has failed to notify the county board of the change of address before the close of registration for that election, the county board shall permit that person to vote in that election. The county board shall permit the registrant described in this subsection to vote at the registrant's new precinct, upon the registrant's written affirmation of the new address, or, if the registrant prefers, at a central location in the county to be chosen by the county board. If the registrant appears at the old precinct, the precinct officials there shall (i) send the registrant to the new precinct or, (ii) if the registrant prefers, to the central location, according to rules which shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections, or (iii) permit the voter to vote a provisional ballot and shall count the individual's provisional official ballot for all ballot items on which it determines that the individual was eligible under State or federal law to vote. At the new precinct, the registrant shall be processed by a precinct transfer assistant, according to rules which shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections. 
(f) When Registrant Disputes Registration Records. - If the registration records indicate that the registrant has moved outside the precinct, but the registrant denies having moved from the address within the precinct previously shown on the records, the registrant shall be permitted to vote at the voting place for the precinct where the registrant claims to reside, if the registrant gives oral or written affirmation before a precinct official at that voting place. 
(g) Precinct Transfer Assistants. - The county board of elections shall either designate a board employee or appoint other persons to serve as precinct transfer assistants to receive the election-day transfers of the voters described in subsection (e) of this section. In addition, board members and employees may perform the duties of precinct transfer assistants. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate uniform rules to carry out the provisions of this section, and shall define in those rules the duties of the precinct transfer assistant. (1979, c. 135, s. 2; 1983, c. 392, s. 2; 1984, Ex. Sess., c. 3, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 549, s. 1; 1989, c. 427; 1991, c. 12, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 3; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-314, s. 1; 2005-2, s. 3; 2006-262, s. 2; 2014-111, s. 12(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.15A. Administrative change of registration when county line is adjusted. 
When a boundary between counties is established by legislation or under G.S. 153A-18, the Executive Director shall direct the county boards of elections involved to administratively change the voter registration of any voter whose county of residence is altered by the establishment of the boundary. The voter shall not be required to submit a new application to register, and the provisions of G.S. 163-57 shall apply to the determination of residency. The Executive Director shall prescribe a method of notifying the voter of the change of county registration, the correct precinct, and other relevant information. (2005-428, s. 3(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.15A. Administrative change of registration when county line is adjusted. 
When a boundary between counties is established by legislation or under G.S. 153A-18, the Executive Director shall direct the county boards of elections involved to administratively change the voter registration of any voter whose county of residence is altered by the establishment of the boundary. The voter shall not be required to submit a new application to register, and the provisions of G.S. 163-57 shall apply to the determination of residency. The Executive Director shall prescribe a method of notifying the voter of the change of county registration, the correct precinct, and other relevant information. (2005-428, s. 3(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.16. Change of name. 
(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - If the name of a registrant is changed in accordance with G.S. 48-1-104, G.S. 50-12, or Chapter 101 of the General Statutes, or if a married registrant assumes the last name of the registrant's spouse, the registrant shall not be required to re-register, but shall report the change of name to the county board not later than the last day for applying to register to vote for an election in G.S. 163-82.6. The registrant shall report the change on a form described in G.S. 163-82.3 or on a voter registration card described in G.S. 163-82.8 or in another written statement that is signed, contains the registrant's full names, old and new, and the registrant's current residence address. 
(b) Verification of New Name by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice of name change from a registrant in that county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant's residence address. The notice shall state that the registrant's records will be changed to reflect the new name if the registrant does not respond that the name change is incorrect. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall send to the registrant's residence address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2). 
If the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d). 
(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and the registrant does not deny making the application for the name change, the county board shall as soon as practical change the record of the registrant's name to conform to that stated in the application. 
(d) Unreported Name Change. - A registrant who has not reported a name change in accordance with subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted to vote if the registrant reports the name change to the chief judge at the voting place, or to the county board along with the voter's application for an absentee ballot. (1979, c. 480; 1981, c. 33, s. 3; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 457, s. 9.) 
 
GS 163-82.17. Change of party affiliation. 
(a) Registrant's Duty to Report. - Any registrant who desires to have the record of his party affiliation or unaffiliated status changed on the registration list shall, no later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163-82.6 before the election, indicate the change on an application form as described in G.S. 163-82.3 or on a voter registration card described in G.S. 163-82.8. No registrant shall be permitted to change party affiliation or unaffiliated status for a primary, second primary, or special or general election after the deadline for registration applications for that election as set out in G.S. 163-82.6. 
(b) Verification of Affiliation Change by Mail. - When a county board of elections receives a notice of change of party affiliation or unaffiliated status from a registrant in that county, the county board shall send a notice, by nonforwardable mail, to the registrant's residence address. The notice shall state that the registrant's records will be changed to reflect the change of status if the registrant does not respond by stating that he does not desire a change in status. The notice shall also inform the registrant of the time that the change of affiliation status will occur, and shall explain the provisions of subsection (d) of this section. If the Postal Service returns the county board's notice to the registrant as undeliverable, the county board shall send to the registrant's residence address a confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2). If the registrant does not respond to the confirmation notice as described in G.S. 163-82.14(d)(2), then the county board shall proceed with the removal of the registrant from the list of voters in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d). 
(c) Board's Duty to Make Change. - If the county board confirms the registrant's address in accordance with subsection (b) of this section and the registrant does not deny making the application to change affiliated or unaffiliated status, the county board of elections shall as soon as practical change the record of the registrant's party affiliation, or unaffiliated status, to conform to that stated in the application. Thereafter the voter shall be considered registered and qualified to vote in accordance with the change, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section. 
(d) Deadline to Change Status Before Primary. - If a registrant applies to change party affiliation or unaffiliated status later than the last day for applying to register under G.S. 163-82.6 before a primary, the registrant shall not be entitled to vote in the primary of a party in which the registrant's status on that last day did not entitle the registrant to vote. 
(e) Authority of County Board or Director to Make Correction. - If at any time the chairman or director of elections of the county board of elections is satisfied that an error has been made in designating the party affiliation of any voter on the registration records, then the chairman or director of elections of the county board of elections shall make the necessary correction after receiving from the voter a sworn statement as to the error and the correct status. (1939, c. 263, s. 6; 1949, c. 916, ss. 4, 8; 1953, c. 843; 1955, c. 800; c. 871, s. 3; 1957, c. 784, s. 5; 1963, c. 303, s. 1; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 793, ss. 30, 31; c. 1223, s. 5; 1975, c. 234, s. 2; 1977, c. 130, s. 1; c. 626, s. 1; 1981, c. 33, s. 4; c. 219, s. 4; 1983, c. 576, s. 4; 1987, c. 408, ss. 1, 6; 1989, c. 635, s. 2; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 4; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-82.18. Appeal from denial of registration. 
(a) Right to Appeal. - Any applicant who receives notice of denial of registration pursuant to G.S. 163-82.7 may appeal the denial within five days after receipt of the notice of denial. The county board of elections shall promptly set a date for a public hearing. The notice of appeal shall be in writing and shall be signed by the appealing party, shall include the appealing party's name, date of birth, address, and reasons for the appeal. 
(b) Hearing Before County Board of Elections. - The county board of elections shall set a date and time for a public hearing and shall notify the appealing party. Every person appealing to the county board of elections from denial of registration shall be entitled to a prompt and fair hearing on the question of the denied applicant's right and qualifications to register as a voter. All cases on appeal to a county board of elections shall be heard de novo. 
Two members of the county board of elections shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of hearing appeals on questions of registration. The decision of a majority of the members of the board shall be the decision of the board. The board shall be authorized to subpoena witnesses and to compel their attendance and testimony under oath, and it is further authorized to subpoena papers and documents relevant to any matters pending before the board. 
If at the hearing the board shall find that the person appealing from a denial of registration meets all requirements of law for registration as a voter in the county, the board shall enter an order directing that the appellant be registered and assign the appellant to the appropriate precinct. Not later than five days after an appeal is heard before the county board of elections, the board shall give written notice of its decision to the appealing party. 
(c) Appeal to Superior Court. - Any person aggrieved by a final decision of a county board of elections denying registration may at any time within 10 days from the date on which he receives notice of the decision appeal to the superior court of the county in which the board is located. Upon such an appeal, the appealing party shall be the plaintiff and the county board of elections shall be the defendant, and the matter shall be heard de novo in the superior court in the manner in which other civil actions are tried and disposed of in that court. 
If the decision of the court is that the order of the county board of elections shall be set aside, then the court shall enter its order so providing and adjudging that the plaintiff is entitled to be registered as a qualified voter in the precinct in which he originally made application to register, and in such case the plaintiff's name shall be entered in the registration book of that precinct. The court shall not order the registration of any person in a precinct in which he did not apply to register prior to the proceeding in court. 
From the judgment of the superior court an appeal may be taken to the appellate division in the same manner as other appeals are taken from judgments of that court in civil actions. (1957, c. 287, dd. 2-4; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1969, c. 44, s. 82; 1981, c. 542, ss. 1, 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-82.19. Voter registration at drivers license offices; coordination on data interface. 
(a) Voter Registration at Drivers License Offices. - The Division of Motor Vehicles shall, pursuant to the rules adopted by the State Board of Elections, modify its forms so that any eligible person who applies for original issuance, renewal or correction of a drivers license, or special identification card issued under G.S. 20-37.7 may, on a part of the form, complete an application to register to vote, or to update the voter's registration if the voter has changed his or her address or moved from one precinct to another or from one county to another. The person taking the application shall ask if the applicant is a citizen of the United States. If the applicant states that the applicant is not a citizen of the United States, or declines to answer the question, the person taking the application shall inform the applicant that it is a felony for a person who is not a citizen of the United States to apply to register to vote. Any person who willfully and knowingly and with fraudulent intent gives false information on the application is guilty of a Class I felony. The application shall state in clear language the penalty for violation of this section. The necessary forms shall be prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The form must ask for the previous voter registration address of the voter, if any. If a previous address is listed, and it is not in the county of residence of the applicant, the appropriate county board of elections shall treat the application as an authorization to cancel the previous registration and also process it as such under the procedures of G.S. 163-82.9. If a previous address is listed and that address is in the county where the voter applies to register, the application shall be processed as if it had been submitted under G.S. 163-82.9. 
Registration shall become effective as provided in G.S. 163-82.7. Applications to register to vote accepted at a drivers license office under this section until the deadline established in G.S. 163-82.6(c)(2) shall be treated as timely made for an election, and no person who completes an application at that drivers license office shall be denied the vote in that election for failure to apply earlier than that deadline. 
All applications shall be forwarded by the Department of Transportation to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after the date of acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections. Those rules shall provide for a paperless, instant, electronic transfer of applications to the appropriate board of elections. 
(b) Coordination on Data Interface. - The Department of Transportation jointly with the State Board of Elections shall develop and operate a computerized interface to match information in the database of the statewide voter registration system with the drivers license information in the Division of Motor Vehicles to the extent required to enable the State Board of Elections and the Department of Transportation to verify the accuracy of the information provided on applications for voter registration, whether the applications were received at drivers license offices or elsewhere. The Department of Transportation and the State Board shall implement the provisions of this subsection so as to comply with section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The Department of Transportation shall enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Social Security so as to comply with section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. (1983, c. 854, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1044, s. 19(a); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1998-149, s. 11.1; 2001-319, s. 7(a); 2003-226, s. 7(b); 2009-541, s. 13(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(e).) 
 
GS 163-82.20. Voter registration at other public agencies. 
(a) Voter Registration Agencies. - Every office in this State which accepts: 
(1) Applications for a program of public assistance under Article 2 of Chapter 108A of the General Statutes or under Article 13 of Chapter 130A of the General Statutes; 
(2) Applications for State-funded State or local government programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities, with such office designated by the State Board of Elections; or 
(3) Claims for benefits under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law, is designated as a voter registration agency for purposes of this section. 
(b) Duties of Voter Registration Agencies. - A voter registration agency described in subsection (a) of this section shall, unless the applicant declines, in writing, to register to vote: 
(1) Distribute with each application for service or assistance, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address relating to such service or assistance: 
a. The voter registration application form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b); or 
b. The voter registration agency's own form, if it is substantially equivalent to the form described in G.S. 163-82.3(a) or (b) and has been approved by the State Board of Elections, provided that the agency's own form may be a detachable part of the agency's paper application or may be a paperless computer process, as long as the applicant is required to sign an attestation as part of the application to register. 
(2) Provide a form that contains the elements required by section 7(a)(6)(B) of the National Voter Registration Act; and 
(3) Provide to each applicant who does not decline to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the registration application as is provided by the office with regard to the completion of its own forms. 
(c) Provided that voter registration agencies designated under subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall only be required to provide the services set out in this subsection to applicants for new claims, reopened claims, and changes of address under Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law. 
(d) Home Registration for Disabled. - If a voter registration agency provides services to a person with disability at the person's home, the voter registration agency shall provide the services described in subsection (b) of this section at the person's home. 
(e) Prohibitions. - Any person providing any service under subsection (b) of this section shall not: 
(1) Seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party registration, except that this shall not be construed to prevent the notice provided by G.S. 163-82.4(c) to be given if the applicant refuses to declare his party affiliation; 
(2) Display any such political preference or party allegiance; 
(3) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or 
(4) Make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits. 
(f) Confidentiality of Declination to Register. - No information relating to a declination to register to vote in connection with an application made at a voter registration agency may be used for any purpose other than voter registration. 
(g) Transmittal From Agency to Board of Elections. - Any voter registration application completed at a voter registration agency shall be accepted by that agency in lieu of the applicant's mailing the application. Any such application so received shall be transmitted to the appropriate board of elections not later than five business days after acceptance, according to rules which shall be promulgated by the State Board of Elections. 
(h) Twenty-Five-Day Deadline for an Election. - Applications to register accepted by a voter registration agency shall entitle a registrant to vote in any primary, general, or special election unless the registrant shall have made application later than the twenty-fifth calendar day immediately preceding such primary, general, or special election, provided that nothing shall prohibit voter registration agencies from continuing to accept applications during that period. 
(i) Ineligible Applications Prohibited. - No person shall make application to register to vote under this section if that person is ineligible on account of age, citizenship, lack of residence for the period of time provided by law, or because of conviction of a felony. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 507, s. 25.10(c); 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 608, s. 1; 2009-541, s. 14(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(f).) 
 
GS 163-82.20A. Voter registration upon restoration of citizenship. 
The State Board of Elections, the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, and the Administrative Office of the Courts shall jointly develop and implement educational programs and procedures for persons to apply to register to vote at the time they are restored to citizenship and all filings required have been completed under Chapter 13 of the General Statutes. Those procedures shall be designed to do both of the following: 
(1) Inform the person that the restoration of rights removes the person's disqualification from voting, but that in order to vote the person must register to vote. 
(2) Provide an opportunity to that person to register to vote. 
At a minimum, the program shall include a written notice to the person whose citizenship has been restored, informing that person that the person may now register to vote, with a voter registration form enclosed with the notice. (2007-391, s. 26(a); 2011-145, s. 19.1(h).) 
 
GS 163-82.21. Voter registration at military recruitment offices. 
The Executive Director, jointly with the Department of Defense, shall develop and implement procedures for persons to apply to register to vote at recruitment offices of the Armed Forces of the United States in compliance with section 7(c) of the National Voter Registration Act. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2001-319, s. 11; 2011-183, s. 111.) 
 
GS 163-82.22. Voter registration at public libraries and public agencies. 
(a) Every library covered by G.S. 153A-272 shall make available to the public the application forms described in G.S. 163-82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. Every library covered by G.S. 153A-272 shall designate at least one employee to assist voter registration applicants in completing the form during all times that the library is open. 
(b) If approved by the State Board of Elections, the county board of elections, and the county board of commissioners, a county may offer voter registration in accordance with this section through the following additional public offices: 
(1) Senior centers or facilities operated by the county. 
(2) Parks and recreation services operated by the county. (1975, c. 234, s. 1; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1983, c. 588, ss. 2, 3; c. 707; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 973, ss. 1, 2; c. 1044, s. 19(b); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2013-381, s. 5.1.) 
 
GS 163-82.23. Voter registration at public high schools. 
Every public high school shall make available to its students and others who are eligible to register to vote the application forms described in G.S. 163-82.3, and shall keep a sufficient supply of the forms so that they are always available. A local board of education may, but is not required to, designate high school employees to assist in completing the forms. Only employees who volunteer for this duty may be designated by boards of education. (1975, c. 234, s. 1; 1977, c. 626, s. 1; 1983, c. 588, ss. 2, 3; c. 707; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 973, ss. 1, 2; c. 1044, s. 19(b); 1993, c. 74, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 2009-541, s. 15(a); 2013-381, s. 12.1(d).) 
 
GS 163-82.24. Statewide training and certification for election officials. 
(a) Training. - The State Board of Elections shall conduct training programs in election law and procedures. Every county elections director shall receive training conducted by the State Board at least as often as required in the following schedule: 
(1) Once during each odd-numbered year before the municipal election held in the county; 
(2) Once during each even-numbered year before the first partisan primary; and 
(3) Once during each even-numbered year after the partisan primaries but before the general election. 
Every member of a county board of elections shall receive training conducted by the State Board at least once during the six months after the member's initial appointment and at least once again during the first two years of the member's service. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the training of precinct officials, which shall be followed by the county boards of elections. 
(b) Certification. - The State Board of Elections shall conduct a program for certification of election officials. The program shall include training in election law and procedures. Before issuing certification to an election official, the State Board shall administer an examination designed to determine the proficiency of the official in election law and procedures. The State Board shall set adequate standards for the passage of the examination. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2; 1995, c. 243, s. 1; 2001-319, s. 2(a).) 
 
GS 163-82.26. Rule-making authority. 
The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules necessary to implement the provisions of this Article. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-82.27. Help America Vote Act of 2002. 
As used in this Chapter, the term "Help America Vote Act of 2002" means the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, 116 Stat. 1666 (2002), codified at 42 U.S.C. 15481-15485. Citations to titles and sections of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 are as they appear in the Public Law. The State Board shall have the authority to adopt rules and guidelines to implement the minimum requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. (2003-226, s. 21.) 
 
GS 163-82.28. The HAVA Election Fund. 
There is established a special fund to be known as the Election Fund. All funds received for implementation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, Public Law 107-252, shall be deposited in that fund. The State Board of Elections shall use funds in the Election Fund only to implement HAVA. (2003-12, s. 1; 2005-276, s. 23A.2(a); 2005-323, s. 7; 2006-264, s. 76(d).) 

GS 163-258.2. Definitions. 
As used in this Article: 
(1) "Covered voter" means any of the following: 
a. A uniformed-service voter or an overseas voter who is registered to vote in this State. 
b. A uniformed-service voter defined in subdivision (7) of this section whose voting residence is in this State and who otherwise satisfies this State's voter eligibility requirements. 
c. An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, was last eligible to vote in this State and, except for a State residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this State's voter eligibility requirements. 
d. An overseas voter who, before leaving the United States, would have been last eligible to vote in this State had the voter then been of voting age and, except for a State residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this State's voter eligibility requirements. 
e. An overseas voter who was born outside the United States, is not described in sub-subdivision c. or d. of this subdivision, and, except for a State residency requirement, otherwise satisfies this State's voter eligibility requirements, if: 
1. The last place where a parent or legal guardian of the voter was, or under this Article would have been, eligible to vote before leaving the United States is within this State; and 
2. The voter has not previously registered to vote in any other state. 
(2) "Dependent" means an individual recognized as a dependent by a uniformed service. 
(3) "Military-overseas ballot" means any of the following: 
a. A federal write-in absentee ballot described in the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 103, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2. 
b. A ballot specifically prepared or distributed for use by a covered voter in accordance with this Article. 
c. A ballot cast by a covered voter in accordance with this Article. 
(4) "Overseas voter" means a United States citizen who is outside the United States. 
(5) "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. 
(6) "Uniformed service" means any of the following: 
a. Active and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard of the United States. 
b. The Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States. 
c. The National Guard and state militia units. 
(7) "Uniformed-service voter" means an individual who is qualified to vote and is one of the following: 
a. A member of the active or reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States who is on active duty. 
b. A member of the Merchant Marine, the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States. 
c. A member of the National Guard or State militia unit who is on activated status. 
d. A spouse or dependent of a member referred to in this subdivision. 
(8) "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. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.3. Elections covered. 
The voting procedures in this Article apply to all of the following: 
(1) A primary, general, or special election for federal or State office. 
(2) A State ballot measure. 
(3) A primary, general, special, or runoff election for local government office or a local ballot measure if absentee balloting is allowed under Article 20 of this Chapter. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.4. Role of State Board of Elections. 
(a) The State Board of Elections is the State official responsible for implementing this Article and the State's responsibilities under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff, et seq. 
(b) The State Board of Elections shall make available to covered voters information regarding voter registration procedures for covered voters and procedures for casting military-overseas ballots. The State Board of Elections may delegate the responsibility under this subsection only to the State office designated in compliance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 102(b)(1), 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-1(b)(1). 
(c) The State Board of Elections shall establish an electronic transmission system through which covered voters may apply for and receive voter registration materials, military-overseas ballots, and other information under this Article. 
(d) The State Board of Elections shall develop standardized absentee-voting materials, including privacy and transmission envelopes and their electronic equivalents, authentication materials, and voting instructions, to be used with the military-overseas ballot of a voter authorized to vote in any jurisdiction in this State, and, to the extent reasonably possible, shall do so in coordination with other states. 
(e) The State Board of Elections shall prescribe the form and content of a declaration for use by a covered voter to swear or affirm specific representations pertaining to the voter's identity, eligibility to vote, status as a covered voter, and timely and proper completion of an overseas-military ballot. The declaration shall be based on the declaration prescribed to accompany a federal write-in absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 103, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2, as modified to be consistent with this Article. The State Board of Elections shall ensure that a form for the execution of the declaration, including an indication of the date of execution of the declaration, is a prominent part of all balloting materials for which the declaration is required. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.5. Overseas voter's registration address. 
In registering to vote, an overseas voter who is eligible to vote in this State shall use and shall be assigned to the precinct of the address of the last place of residence of the voter in this State, or, in the case of a voter described by G.S. 163-258.2(1)e., the address of the last place of residence in this State of the parent or legal guardian of the voter. If that address is no longer a recognized residential address, the voter shall be assigned an address for voting purposes. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.6. Methods of registering to vote. 
(a) In addition to any other approved method for registering to vote, a covered voter may use a federal postcard application, as prescribed under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 101(b)(2), 42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)(2), or the application's electronic equivalent, to apply to register to vote. 
(b) A covered voter may use the declaration accompanying the federal write-in absentee ballot, as prescribed under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 103, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2, to apply to register to vote simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot. 
(c) The State Board of Elections shall ensure that the electronic transmission system described in G.S. 163-258.4(c) is capable of accepting both a federal postcard application and any other approved electronic registration application sent to the appropriate election official. The voter may use the electronic transmission system or any other approved method to register to vote. 
(d) A covered voter's registration to vote by any method authorized by this section may be received at any time prior to the primary or election, but no later than 5:00 P.M. on the day before the primary or election. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.7. Methods of applying for military-overseas ballot. 
(a) A covered voter who is registered to vote in this State may apply for a military-overseas ballot using either the regular application provided by Article 20 of this Chapter or the federal postcard application, as prescribed under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 101(b)(2), 42 U.S.C. 1973ff(b)(2), or the application's electronic equivalent. 
(b) A covered voter who is not registered to vote in this State may use the federal postcard application or the application's electronic equivalent simultaneously to apply to register to vote under G.S. 163-258.6 and to apply for a military-overseas ballot. 
(c) The State Board of Elections shall ensure that the electronic transmission system described in G.S. 163-258.4(c) is capable of accepting the submission of both a federal postcard application and any other approved electronic military-overseas ballot application sent to the appropriate election official. The voter may use the electronic transmission system or any other approved method to apply for a military-overseas ballot. 
(d) A covered voter may use the declaration accompanying the federal write-in absentee ballot, as prescribed under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 103, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2, as an application for a military-overseas ballot simultaneously with the submission of the federal write-in absentee ballot, if the declaration is received by the appropriate election official no later than 5:00 P.M. on the day before the election. 
(e) To receive the benefits of this Article, a covered voter shall inform the appropriate election official that the voter is a covered voter. Methods of informing the appropriate election official that a voter is a covered voter include any of the following: 
(1) The use of a federal postcard application or federal write-in absentee ballot. 
(2) The use of an overseas address on an approved voter registration application or ballot application. 
(3) The inclusion on an approved voter registration application or ballot application of other information sufficient to identify the voter as a covered voter. 
(f) This Article does not preclude a covered voter from voting an absentee ballot under Article 20 of this Chapter. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.8. Timeliness and scope of application for military-overseas ballot. 
An application for a military-overseas ballot is timely if received by the appropriate election official by 5:00 P.M. of the day before the election or primary. An application from a covered voter for a military-overseas ballot shall be considered a valid absentee ballot request for any election covered under G.S. 163-258.3 held during the calendar year in which the application was received. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.11. Federal write-in absentee ballot. 
A covered voter may use the federal write-in absentee ballot, in accordance with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, section 103, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff-2, to vote for all offices and ballot measures in a covered election. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.12. Receipt of voted ballot. 
(a) A valid military-overseas ballot cast in accordance with G.S. 163-258.10 shall be counted if it is delivered to the address that the appropriate State or local election office has specified by the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board of elections held pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5 to determine the final official results. 
(b) If the ballot is timely received, it may not be rejected on the basis that it has a late postmark, an unreadable postmark, or no postmark. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.14. Confirmation of receipt of application and voted ballot. 
The State Board of Elections, in coordination with local election officials, shall implement an electronic free access system by which a covered voter may determine by telephone, electronic mail, or Internet whether: 
(1) The voter's federal postcard application or other registration or military-overseas ballot application has been received and accepted; and 
(2) The voter's military-overseas ballot has been received and the current status of the ballot. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.15. Use of voter's electronic mail address. 
(a) The county board of elections shall request an electronic mail address from each covered voter who registers to vote after January 1, 2012. An electronic mail address provided by a covered voter is not a public record under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. The address may be used only for official communication with the voter about the voting process, including transmitting military-overseas ballots and election materials if the voter has requested electronic transmission, and verifying the voter's mailing address and physical location, as needed. The request for an electronic mail address shall describe the purposes for which the electronic mail address may be used and include a statement that any other use or disclosure of the electronic mail address is prohibited. 
(b) A covered voter who provides an electronic mail address may request that the voter's application for a military-overseas ballot be considered a standing request for electronic delivery of a ballot for all elections held through December 31 of the year following the calendar year of the date of the application or another shorter period the voter specifies, including for any runoff elections that occur as a result of such elections. An election official shall provide a military-overseas ballot to a voter who makes a request for each election to which the request is applicable. A covered voter entitled to receive a military-overseas ballot for a primary election under this subsection is also entitled to receive a military-overseas ballot for the general election. (2011-182, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-258.26. Certified list of approved military-overseas ballot applications; record of ballots received; disposition of list; list constitutes registration. 
(a) Preparation of List. - The chair of the county board of elections shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a list in quadruplicate of all military-overseas ballots returned to the county board of elections under this Article to be counted which have been approved by the county board of elections. At the end of the list the chair shall execute the following certificate under oath: 
"State of North Carolina 
County of _______________ 
I, __________, Chair of the __________ County Board of Elections, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a list of all executed military-overseas ballots to be voted in the election to be conducted on the _____ day of ______, ____, which have been approved by the County Board of Elections. I further certify that I have issued ballots to no other persons than those listed herein and further that I have not delivered military-overseas ballots to persons other than those listed herein; that this list constitutes the only precinct registration of covered voters whose names have not heretofore been entered on the regular registration of the appropriate precinct. 
This the _____ day of ______, ____. 
__________________________________ 
(Signature of Chair of County Board of Elections) 
Sworn to and subscribed before me this ______ day of ______, ____ 
__________________________________ 
(Signature of Officer administering oath) 
__________________________________ 
(Title of officer)" 
(b) Distribution of List. - No earlier than 3:00 P.M. on the day before the election and no later than 10:00 A.M. on election day, the chair shall cause one copy of the list of executed military-overseas ballots, which may be a continuing countywide list or a separate list for each precinct, to be immediately deposited as first-class mail to the State Board of Elections. The chair shall retain one copy in the board office for public inspection and shall cause two copies of the appropriate precinct list to be delivered to the chief judge of each precinct in the county. The chief judge shall post one copy in the voting place and retain one copy until all challenges of absentee ballots have been heard by the county board of elections. Challenges shall be made as provided in G.S. 163-89. 
After receipt of the list of absentee voters required by this section the chief judge shall call the name of each person recorded on the list and enter an "A" in the appropriate voting square on the voter's permanent registration record, if any, or a similar entry on the computer list used at the polls. If such person is already recorded as having voted in that election, the chief judge shall enter a challenge which shall be presented to the chair of the county board of elections for resolution by the board of elections prior to certification of results by the board. 
(c) List Constitutes Registration. - The "List of Applicants for Military-Overseas Ballots to Whom Ballots Have Been Issued" prescribed by this section, when delivered to the chief judges of the various precincts, shall constitute the only precinct registration of the covered voters listed thereon whose names are not already entered in the registration records of the appropriate precinct. Chief judges shall not add the names of persons listed on the covered voters list to the regular registration books of their precincts. 
(d) Counting Ballots, Hearing Challenges. - The county board of elections shall count military-overseas ballots as provided for civilian absentee ballots in G.S. 163-234, and shall hear challenges as provided in G.S. 163-89. (1941, c. 346, ss. 7-10, 12, 13; 1943, c. 503, ss. 4, 5; 1963, c. 457, s. 15; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1973, c. 536, s. 2; 1977, c. 265, s. 17; 1979, c. 797, s. 3; 1981, c. 155, s. 2; c. 308, s. 3; 1983, c. 331, s. 4; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, ss. 56, 57; 1999-456, s. 59; 2011-182, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-258.27. Article inapplicable to persons after change of status; reregistration not required. 
An individual who no longer qualifies as a covered voter under the provisions of this Article shall not be entitled subsequently to vote by military-overseas ballot under this Article, but if the covered voter was registered under the provisions of this Article that voter's registration shall remain valid for the remainder of the calendar year that voter registered, and that voter shall be entitled to vote in any primary or election for the remainder of the calendar year without having to reregister. If requested by election officials, the voter shall present proof of military status at the time of registration. This section does not entitle a person to vote in North Carolina if that person has become disqualified because of change of permanent residence to another State or because of conviction of a felony. (1943, c. 503, s. 12; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1999-424, s. 7(k); 2001-466, s. 4(e); 2011-182, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-258.28. Registration and voting on primary or election day. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Chapter, an individual shall be permitted to register in person at any time the office of the board of elections or the voting place is open, including the day of a primary or election if that individual was absent on the day the registration records close for an election, but returns to that individual's county of residence in North Carolina thereafter, and if the absence is due to uniformed service as defined by G.S. 163-258.2. 
If an individual so absent on the day registration closes shall appear in person at the voting place on election day and is otherwise eligible to vote, that individual shall be entitled to register and vote at the voting place that day, regardless of whether the person's uniformed service status has changed since the close of registration. (1977, c. 93; 1999-424, s. 7(l); 2001-353, s. 3; 2009-281, s. 1; 2011-182, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-258.29. Absentee voting at office of board of elections. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Chapter, any covered voter under this Article shall be permitted to vote an absentee ballot pursuant to G.S. 163-227.2 if the covered voter has not already voted an absentee ballot which has been returned to the board of elections, and if the covered voter will not be in the county on the day of the primary or election. 
In the event an absentee application or ballot has already been mailed to the covered voter applying to vote pursuant to G.S. 163-227.2, the board of elections shall void the application and ballot unless the voted absentee ballot has been received by the board of elections. The covered voter shall be eligible to vote pursuant to G.S. 163-227.2 no later than 5:00 P.M. on the day next preceding the primary, second primary or election. (1977, c. 93; 1979, c. 797, s. 4; 2011-182, s. 2.) 
 
GS 163-258.30. Regulations of State Board of Elections. 
(a) The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules and regulations to carry out the intent and purpose of G.S. 163-258.28 and G.S. 163-258.29 and to ensure that a proper list of persons voting under said sections shall be maintained by the boards of elections, and to ensure proper registration records, and such rules and regulations shall not be subject to the provisions of Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. 
(b) The State Board of Elections shall be the single office responsible for providing information concerning voter registration and absentee voting procedures to be used by covered voters as to all elections and procedures relating to the use of federal write-in absentee ballots. Unless otherwise required by law, the State Board of Elections shall be responsible for maintaining contact and cooperation with the Federal Voting Assistance Program, the United States Department of Defense, and other federal entities that deal with military and overseas voting. The State Board of Elections shall, as needed, make recommendations concerning military and overseas citizen voting to the General Assembly, the Governor, and other State officials. (1977, c. 93; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 2003-226, s. 18; 2011-182, s. 2; 2012-194, s. 37.) 
 
GS 163-258.31. Emergency powers. 
If an international, national, or local emergency or other situation arises that makes substantial compliance with this Article or the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act impossible or unreasonable, the State Board of Elections may prescribe, by emergency rule, such special procedures or requirements as may be necessary to facilitate absentee voting by those absent uniformed services voters or overseas voters directly affected who are eligible to vote in this State. The rule shall become effective when filed with the Codifier of Rules. (2009-537, s. 9; 2011-182, s. 2.) 

GS 163-165. Definitions. 
In addition to the definitions stated below, the definitions set forth in Article 15A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes also apply to this Article. As used in this Article: 
(1) (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. 
(1) (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. 
(2) "Ballot item" means a single item on a ballot in which the voters are to choose between or among the candidates or proposals listed. 
(3) "Ballot style" means the version of a ballot within a jurisdiction that an individual voter is eligible to vote. For example, in a county that uses essentially the same official ballot, a group office such as county commissioner may be divided into districts so that different voters in the same county vote for commissioner in different districts. The different versions of the county's official ballot containing only those district ballot items one individual voter may vote are the county's different ballot styles. 
(4) "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. 
(5) "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. 
(5a) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-103, s. 5(a), effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019. See notes. 
(6) "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. 
(7) "Referendum" means the event in which voters cast votes for or against ballot questions other than the election of candidates to office. 
(8) "Voting booth" means the private space in which a voter is to mark an official ballot. 
(9) "Voting enclosure" means the room within the voting place that is used for voting. 
(10) "Voting place" means the building or area of the building that contains the voting enclosure. 
(11) "Voting system" means a system of casting and tabulating ballots. The term includes systems of paper ballots counted by hand as well as systems utilizing mechanical and electronic voting equipment. (2001-460, s. 3; 2001-466, s. 3(a), (b); 2002-159, s. 21(h); 2006-262, s. 4; 2013-381, ss. 30.1, 30.2; 2015-103, ss. 4(a), 5(a), 6(b).) 
 
GS 163-165.1. Scope and general rules. 
(a) Scope. - This Article shall apply to all elections in this State. 
(b) Requirements of Official Ballots in Voting. - In any election conducted under this Article: 
(1) All voting shall be by official ballot. 
(2) Only votes cast on an official ballot shall be counted. 
(c) Compliance With This Article. - All ballots shall comply with the provisions of this Article. 
(d) Other Uses Prohibited. - An official ballot shall not be used for any purpose not authorized by this Article. 
(e) Voted ballots and paper and electronic records of individual voted ballots shall be treated as confidential, and no person other than elections officials performing their duties may have access to voted ballots or paper or electronic records of individual voted ballots except by court order or order of the appropriate board of elections as part of the resolution of an election protest or investigation of an alleged election irregularity or violation. Voted ballots and paper and electronic records of individual voted ballots shall not be disclosed to members of the public in such a way as to disclose how a particular voter voted, unless a court orders otherwise. Any person who has access to an official voted ballot or record and knowingly discloses in violation of this section how an individual has voted that ballot is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (2001-460, s. 3; 2002-159, s. 55(o); 2005-323, s. 1(f); 2007-391, s. 9(a).) 
 
GS 163-165.2. Sample ballots. 
(a) County Board to Produce and Distribute Sample Ballots. - The county board of elections shall produce sample ballots, in all the necessary ballot styles of the official ballot, for every election to be held in the county. The sample ballots shall be given an appearance that clearly distinguishes them from official ballots. The county board shall distribute sample ballots to the chief judge of every precinct in which the election is to be conducted. The chief judge shall post a sample ballot in the voting place and may use it for instructional purposes. The county board of elections may use the sample ballot for other informational purposes. 
(b) Document Resembling an Official Ballot to Contain Disclaimer. - No person other than a board of elections shall produce or disseminate a document substantially resembling an official ballot unless the document contains on its face a prominent statement that the document was not produced by a board of elections and is not an official ballot. (2001-460, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-165.3. Responsibilities for preparing official ballots. 
(a) State Board Responsibilities. - The State Board of Elections shall certify the official ballots and voter instructions to be used in every election that is subject to this Article. In conducting its certification, the State Board shall adhere to the following: 
(1) No later than January 31 of every calendar year, the State Board shall establish a schedule for the certification of all official ballots and instructions during that year. The schedule shall include a time for county boards of elections to submit their official ballots and instructions to the State Board for certification and times for the State Board to complete the certification. 
(2) The State Board of Elections shall compose model ballot instructions, which county boards of elections may amend subject to approval by the State Board as part of the certification process. The State Board of Elections may permit a county board of elections to place instructions elsewhere than on the official ballot itself, where placing them on the official ballot would be impractical. 
(3) With regard only to multicounty ballot items on the official ballot, the State Board shall certify the accuracy of the content on the official ballot. 
(4) With regard to the entire official ballot, the State Board shall certify that the content and arrangement of the official ballot are in substantial compliance with the provisions of this Article and standards adopted by the State Board. 
(5) The State Board shall proofread the official ballot of every county, if practical, prior to final production. 
(6) The State Board is not required to certify or review every official ballot style in the county but may require county boards to submit and may review a composite official ballot showing races that will appear in every district in the county. 
The State Board shall be responsible for oversight of all ballot coding. In order to produce the data necessary for equipment programming, each county shall either contract with a qualified vendor certified by the State Board or be certified by the State Board to produce the data. 
(b) County Board Responsibilities. - Each county board of elections shall prepare and produce official ballots for all elections in that county. The county board of elections shall submit the format of each official ballot and set of instructions to the State Board of Elections for review and certification in accordance with the schedule established by the State Board. The county board of elections shall follow the directions of the State Board in placing candidates, referenda, and other material on official ballots and in placing instructions. 
(c) Late Changes in Ballots. - The State Board shall promulgate rules for late changes in ballots. The rules shall provide for the reprinting, where practical, of official ballots as a result of replacement candidates to fill vacancies in accordance with G.S. 163-114 or other late changes. If an official ballot is not reprinted, a vote for a candidate who has been replaced in accordance with G.S. 163-114 will count for the replacement candidate. 
(d) Special Ballots. - The State Board of Elections, with the approval of a county board of elections, may produce special official ballots, such as those for disabled voters, where production by the State Board would be more practical than production by the county board. (2001-460, s. 3; 2007-391, s. 24(a); 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 18(a).) 
 
GS 163-165.4. Standards for official ballots. 
The State Board of Elections shall ensure that official ballots throughout the State have all the following characteristics: 
(1) Are readily understandable by voters. 
(2) Present all candidates and questions in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner. 
(3) Allow every voter to cast a vote in every ballot item without difficulty. 
(4) Facilitate an accurate vote count. 
(5) Are uniform in content and format, subject to varied presentations required or made desirable by different voting systems. (2001-460, s. 3; 2013-381, s. 29.1.) 
 
GS 163-165.4A. Punch-card ballots and lever machines. 
(a) No ballot may be used in any referendum, primary, or other election as an official ballot if it requires the voter to punch out a hole with a stylus or other tool. 
(a1) No lever machine voting system may be used in any referendum, primary, or other election as a means of voting the official ballot. A "lever machine voting system" is a voting system on which the voter casts a vote by pressing a lever and the vote is mechanically recorded by the machine. 
(b) In any counties that used punch-card ballots as official ballots or lever machines in the election of November 2000, and in any municipalities located in those counties, this section becomes effective January 1, 2006. It is the intent of the General Assembly that any county that uses county funds to replace voting equipment to satisfy this section shall be given priority in appropriations to counties for voting equipment. (2001-310, ss. 1, 3; 2003-226, s. 12.) 
 
GS 163-165.4B. Butterfly ballots. 
No butterfly ballot may be used as an official ballot in any referendum, primary, or other election. The term "butterfly ballot" means a ballot having more than one column listing ballot choices that share a common column for designating those choices. (2001-310, ss. 2, 3.) 
 
GS 163-165.4C. (Effective January 1, 2018) Prohibited voting systems. 
A voting system that does not use or produce a ballot shall not be used in any referendum, primary, or other election as a means of voting or counting an official ballot. (2015-103, s. 5(b).) 
 
GS 163-165.5. Contents of official ballots. 
(a) Except as provided in this section, each official ballot shall contain all the following elements: 
(1) The heading prescribed by the State Board of Elections. The heading shall include the term "Official Ballot". 
(2) The title of each office to be voted on and the number of votes allowed in each ballot item. 
(3) The names of the candidates as they appear on their notice of candidacy filed pursuant to G.S. 163-106 or G.S. 163-323, or on petition forms filed in accordance with G.S. 163-122. No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with the candidate's name. Candidates, however, may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Nicknames shall be permitted on an official ballot if used in the notice of candidacy or qualifying petition, but the nickname shall appear according to standards adopted by the State Board of Elections. Those standards shall allow the presentation of legitimate nicknames in ways that do not mislead the voter or unduly advertise the candidacy. In the case of candidates for presidential elector, the official ballot shall not contain the names of the candidates for elector but instead shall contain the nominees for President and Vice President which the candidates for elector represent. The State Board of Elections shall establish a review procedure that local boards of elections shall follow to ensure that candidates' names appear on the official ballot in accordance with this subdivision. 
(4) Party designations in partisan ballot items and in nonpartisan ballot items as required by G.S. 163-323(h). 
(5) A means by which the voter may cast write-in votes, as provided in G.S. 163-123. No space for write-ins is required unless a write-in candidate has qualified under G.S. 163-123 or unless the ballot item is exempt from G.S. 163-123. 
(6) Instructions to voters, unless the State Board of Elections allows instructions to be placed elsewhere than on the official ballot. 
(7) The printed title and facsimile signature of the chair of the county board of elections. 
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an official ballot created and printed by use of a voting system in the voting enclosure shall be counted if all of the following apply: 
(1) Each of the following are printed on that official ballot: 
a. The date of the election. 
b. The precinct name or a unique identification code associated with that ballot style. 
c. The choices made by the voter for all ballot items in which the voter cast a vote. 
(2) The electronic display of the voting system seen by the voter contains all of the information required by subsection (a) of this section. 
(3) The voter is capable of reviewing the printed official ballot, and voiding that ballot, prior to casting that voter's ballot. 
(4) The voter's choices in and on the electronic display are removed prior to the next voter using that voting equipment. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-209, s. 1; 2007-391, s. 10; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2015-103, s. 4(b); 2015-292, s. 1.) 
 
GS 163-165.5B. Ballots may be combined. 
Notwithstanding any other statute or local act, a county board of elections, with the approval of the State Board of Elections, may combine ballot items on the same official ballot. (2007-391, s. 7; 2008-187, s. 33(a).) 
 
GS 163-165.6. Arrangement of official ballots. 
(a) Order of Precedence Generally. - Candidate ballot items shall be arranged on the official ballot before referenda. 
(b) Order of Precedence for Candidate Ballot Items. - The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules prescribing the order of offices to be voted on the official ballot. Those rules shall adhere to the following guidelines: 
(1) Federal offices shall be listed before State and local offices. Member of the United States House of Representatives shall be listed immediately after United States Senator. 
(2) State and local offices shall be listed according to the size of the electorate. 
(3) Partisan offices, regardless of the size of the constituency, shall be listed before nonpartisan offices. 
(4) When offices are in the same class, they shall be listed in alphabetical order by office name, or in numerical or alphabetical order by district name. Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in that order, shall be listed before other Council of State offices. Mayor shall be listed before other citywide offices. Chair of a board, where elected separately, shall be listed before other board seats having the same electorate. Chief Justice shall be listed before Associate Justices. 
(5) Ballot items for full terms of an office shall be listed before ballot items for partial terms of the same office. 
(6) Ballot items for retention elections held under Article 1A of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes shall be grouped with like State offices, but shall be listed after offices for which an election is conducted under Article 25 of this Chapter. 
(c) Order of Candidates on Primary and Nonpartisan Official Ballots. - The order in which candidates shall appear on a county's official ballots in any (i) primary ballot item, whether the primary is partisan or nonpartisan, and (ii) in any nonpartisan general election ballot item under Article 25 of this Chapter shall be determined by the county board of elections using a process designed by the State Board of Elections for random selection. The same random selection process shall be used for all primaries and elections in a calendar year. 
(d) Order of Party Candidates on General Election Official Ballot. - Candidates in any ballot item on a general election official ballot shall appear in the following order: 
(1) Nominees of political parties that reflect at least five percent (5%) of statewide voter registration, according to the most recent statistical report published by the State Board of Elections, in alphabetical order by party beginning with the party whose nominee for Governor received the most votes in the most recent gubernatorial election, and in alphabetical order within the party. 
(2) Nominees of other political parties, in alphabetical order by party and in alphabetical order within the party. 
(3) Unaffiliated candidates, in alphabetical order. 
(e) No Straight-Party Voting. - Each official ballot shall not contain any place that allows a voter with one mark to vote for the candidates of a party for more than one office. 
(f) Write-In Voting. - Each official ballot shall be so arranged so that voters may cast write-in votes for candidates except where prohibited by G.S. 163-123 or other statutes governing write-in votes. Instructions for general election ballots shall clearly advise voters of the rules of this subsection and of the statutes governing write-in voting. 
(g) Order of Precedence for Referenda. - The referendum questions to be voted on shall be arranged on the official ballot in the following order: 
(1) Proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution, in the chronological order in which the proposals were approved by the General Assembly. 
(2) Other referenda to be voted on by all voters in the State, in the chronological order in which the proposals were approved by the General Assembly. 
(3) Referenda to be voted on by fewer than all the voters in the State, in the chronological order of the acts by which the referenda were properly authorized. (2001-460, s. 3; 2002-158, s. 14; 2013-381, ss. 31.1, 32.1; 2014-111, s. 2; 2015-66, s. 4.) 
 
GS 163-166.01. Hours for voting. 
In every election, the voting place shall be open at 6:30 A.M. and shall be closed at 7:30 P.M. If the polls are delayed in opening for more than 15 minutes, or are interrupted for more than 15 minutes after opening, the State Board of Elections may extend the closing time by an equal number of minutes. As authorized by law, the State Board of Elections shall be available either in person or by teleconference on the day of election to approve any such extension. If any voter is in line to vote at the time the polls are closed, that voter shall be permitted to vote. No voter shall be permitted to vote who arrives at the voting place after the closing of the polls. 
Any voter who votes after the statutory poll closing time of 7:30 P.M. by virtue of a federal or State court order or any other lawful order, including an order of a county board of elections, shall be allowed to vote, under the provisions of that order, only by using a provisional official ballot. Any special provisional official ballots cast under this section shall be separated, counted, and held apart from other provisional ballots cast by other voters not under the effect of the order extending the closing time of the voting place. If the court order has not been reversed or stayed by the time of the county canvass, the total for that category of provisional ballots shall be added to the official canvass. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-226, s. 14; 2013-381, s. 33.1.) 
 
GS 163-166.1. Duties of county board of elections. 
The county board of elections shall: 
(1) Provide for the timely delivery to each voting place of the supplies, records, and equipment necessary for the conduct of the election. 
(2) Ensure that adequate procedures are in place at each voting place for a safe, secure, fair, and honest election. 
(3) Respond to precinct officials' questions and problems where necessary. 
(4) Provide adequate technical support for the voting system, which shall be done in conjunction with the State Board of Elections. (2001-460, s. 3; 2009-541, s. 21.) 
 
GS 163-166.2. Arrangement of the voting enclosure. 
Each voting enclosure shall contain at a minimum: 
(1) A sufficient number of private spaces for all voters to mark their official ballots in secrecy. 
(2) Adequate space and furniture for the separate functions of: 
a. The checking of voter registration records. 
b. The distribution of official ballots. 
c. Private discussion with voters concerning irregular situations. 
(3) A telephone or some facility for communication with the county board of elections. 
The equipment and furniture in the voting enclosure shall be arranged so that it can be generally seen from the public space of the enclosure. (2001-460, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-166.3. Limited access to the voting enclosure. 
(a) Persons Who May Enter Voting Enclosure. - During the time allowed for voting in the voting place, only the following persons may enter the voting enclosure: 
(1) An election official. 
(2) An observer appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45. 
(2a) A runner appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45, but only to the extent necessary to announce that runner's presence and to receive the voter list as provided in G.S. 163-45. 
(3) A person seeking to vote in that voting place on that day but only while in the process of voting or seeking to vote. 
(4) A voter in that precinct while entering or explaining a challenge pursuant to G.S. 163-87 or G.S. 163-88. 
(5) A person authorized under G.S. 163-166.8 to assist a voter but, except as provided in subdivision (6) of this section, only while assisting that voter. 
(6) Minor children of the voter under the age of 18, or minor children under the age of 18 in the care of the voter, but only while accompanying the voter and while under the control of the voter. 
(7) Persons conducting or participating in a simulated election within the voting place or voting enclosure, if that simulated election is approved by the county board of elections. 
(8) Any other person determined by election officials to have an urgent need to enter the voting enclosure but only to the extent necessary to address that need. 
(b) Photographing Voters Prohibited. - No person shall photograph, videotape, or otherwise record the image of any voter within the voting enclosure, except with the permission of both the voter and the chief judge of the precinct. If the voter is a candidate, only the permission of the voter is required. This subsection shall also apply to one-stop sites under G.S. 163-227.2. This subsection does not apply to cameras used as a regular part of the security of the facility that is a voting place or one-stop site. 
(c) Photographing Voted Ballot Prohibited. - No person shall photograph, videotape, or otherwise record the image of a voted official ballot for any purpose not otherwise permitted under law. (2001-460, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 1(b); 2007-391, s. 23; 2008-187, s. 33(a).) 
 
GS 163-166.4. Limitation on activity in the voting place and in a buffer zone around it. 
(a) Buffer Zone. - No person or group of persons shall hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity in the voting place or in a buffer zone which shall be prescribed by the county board of elections around the voting place. In determining the dimensions of that buffer zone for each voting place, the county board of elections shall, where practical, set the limit at 50 feet from the door of entrance to the voting place, measured when that door is closed, but in no event shall it set the limit at more than 50 feet or at less than 25 feet. 
(a1) Area for Election-Related Activity. - Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the county board of elections shall also provide an area adjacent to the buffer zone for each voting place in which persons or groups of persons may distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election-related activity. 
(b) Special Agreements About Election-Related Activity. - The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections may grant special permission for a county board of elections to enter into an agreement with the owners or managers of a nonpublic building to use the building as a voting place on the condition that election-related activity as described in subsection (a1) of this section not be permitted on their property adjacent to the buffer zone, if the Executive Director finds all of the following: 
(1) That no other suitable voting place can be secured for the precinct. 
(2) That the county board will require the chief judge of the precinct to monitor the grounds around the voting place to ensure that the restriction on election-related activity shall apply to all candidates and parties equally. 
(3) That the pattern of voting places subject to agreements under this subsection does not disproportionately favor any party, racial or ethnic group, or candidate. 
An agreement under this subsection shall be valid for as long as the nonpublic building is used as a voting place. 
(c) Notice About Buffer Zone and Area for Election-Related Activity. - No later than 30 days before each election, the county board of elections shall make available to the public the following information concerning each voting place: 
(1) The door from which the buffer zone is measured. 
(2) The distance the buffer zone extends from that door. 
(3) Any available information concerning where political activity, including sign placement, is permitted beyond the buffer zone. 
(d) Buffer Zone and Area for Election-Related Activity at One-Stop Sites. - Except as modified in this subsection, the provisions of this section shall apply to one-stop voting sites in G.S. 163-227.2. 
(1) Subsection (b) of this section shall not apply. 
(2) The notice in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided no later than 10 days before the opening of one-stop voting at the site. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-365, s. 1; 2007-391, s. 13; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 22(a).) 
 
GS 163-166.5. Procedures at voting place before voting begins. 
The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for precinct officials to set up the voting place before voting begins. Those rules shall emphasize: 
(1) Continual participation or monitoring by officials of more than one party. 
(2) Security of official ballots, records, and equipment. 
(3) The appearance as well as the reality of care, efficiency, impartiality, and honest election administration. 
The county boards of elections and precinct officials shall adhere to those procedures. (2001-460, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-166.6. Designation of tasks. 
The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the delegation of tasks among the election officials at each precinct. Those rules shall emphasize: 
(1) The need to place primary managerial responsibility upon the chief judge. 
(2) The need to have maximum multiparty participation in all duties where questions of partisan partiality might be raised. 
(3) The need to provide flexibility of management to the county board of elections and to the chief judge, in consideration of different abilities of officials, the different availability of officials, and the different needs of voters precinct by precinct. (2001-460, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-166.7. Voting procedures. 
(a) Checking Registration. - A person seeking to vote shall enter the voting enclosure through the appropriate entrance. A precinct official assigned to check registration shall at once ask the voter to state current name and residence address. The voter shall answer by stating current name and residence address and presenting photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13. In a primary election, that voter shall also be asked to state, and shall state, the political party with which the voter is affiliated or, if unaffiliated, the authorizing party in which the voter wishes to vote. After examination, that official shall state whether that voter is duly registered to vote in that precinct and shall direct that voter to the voting equipment or to the official assigned to distribute official ballots. If a precinct official states that the person is duly registered, the person shall sign the pollbook, other voting record, or voter authorization document in accordance with subsection (c) of this section before voting. 
(b) Distribution of Official Ballots. - If the voter is found to be duly registered and has not been successfully challenged, the official assigned to distribute the official ballots shall hand the voter the official ballot that voter is entitled to vote, or that voter shall be directed to the voting equipment that contains the official ballot. No voter in a primary shall be permitted to vote in more than one party's primary. The precinct officials shall provide the voter with any information the voter requests to enable that voter to vote as that voter desires. 
(c) (Effective until January 1, 2018) The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the process of voting. Those rules shall emphasize the appearance as well as the reality of dignity, good order, impartiality, and the convenience and privacy of the voter. Those rules, at a minimum, shall include procedures to ensure that all the following occur: 
(1) The voting system remains secure throughout the period voting is being conducted. 
(2) Only properly voted official ballots or paper records of individual voted ballots are introduced into the voting system. 
(3) Except as provided by G.S. 163-166.9, no official ballots leave the voting enclosure during the time voting is being conducted there. The rules shall also provide that during that time no one shall remove from the voting enclosure any paper record or copy of an individually voted ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper record. 
(4) All improperly voted official ballots or paper records of individual voted ballots are returned to the precinct officials and marked as spoiled. 
(5) Voters leave the voting place promptly after voting. 
(6) Voters not clearly eligible to vote in the precinct but who seek to vote there are given proper assistance in voting a provisional official ballot or guidance to another voting place where they are eligible to vote. 
(7) Information gleaned through the voting process that would be helpful to the accurate maintenance of the voter registration records is recorded and delivered to the county board of elections. 
(8) The registration records are kept secure. The State Board of Elections shall permit the use of electronic registration records in the voting place in lieu of or in addition to a paper pollbook or other registration record. 
(9) Party observers are given access as provided by G.S. 163-45 to current information about which voters have voted. 
(10) The voter, before voting, shall sign that voter's name on the pollbook, other voting record, or voter authorization document. If the voter is unable to sign, a precinct official shall enter the person's name on the same document before the voter votes. 
(c) (Effective January 1, 2018) The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for the process of voting. Those rules shall emphasize the appearance as well as the reality of dignity, good order, impartiality, and the convenience and privacy of the voter. Those rules, at a minimum, shall include procedures to ensure that all the following occur: 
(1) The voting system remains secure throughout the period voting is being conducted. 
(2) Only properly voted official ballots are introduced into the voting system. 
(3) Except as provided by G.S. 163-166.9, no official ballots leave the voting enclosure during the time voting is being conducted there. The rules shall also provide that during that time no one shall remove from the voting enclosure any paper record or copy of an individually voted ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper record. 
(4) All improperly voted official ballots are returned to the precinct officials and marked as spoiled. 
(5) Voters leave the voting place promptly after voting. 
(6) Voters not clearly eligible to vote in the precinct but who seek to vote there are given proper assistance in voting a provisional official ballot or guidance to another voting place where they are eligible to vote. 
(7) Information gleaned through the voting process that would be helpful to the accurate maintenance of the voter registration records is recorded and delivered to the county board of elections. 
(8) The registration records are kept secure. The State Board of Elections shall permit the use of electronic registration records in the voting place in lieu of or in addition to a paper pollbook or other registration record. 
(9) Party observers are given access as provided by G.S. 163-45 to current information about which voters have voted. 
(10) The voter, before voting, shall sign that voter's name on the pollbook, other voting record, or voter authorization document. If the voter is unable to sign, a precinct official shall enter the person's name on the same document before the voter votes. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-226, s. 14.1; 2005-323, s. 1(a1); 2005-428, s. 12; 2013-381, ss. 2.5, 30.4.) 
 
GS 163-166.7A. Voter education and information. 
(a) Posting the Information. - For each election that involves candidates for federal or State office, each county board of elections shall post at each active voting place the following information in a manner and format approved by the State Board of Elections: 
(1) A sample ballot as required by G.S. 163-165.2. 
(2) The date of the election and the hours the voting place will be open. 
(3) Instructions on how to vote, including how to cast a vote or correct a vote on the voting systems available for use in that voting place. 
(4) Instructions on how to cast a provisional ballot. 
(5) Instructions to mail-in registrants and first-time voters on how to comply with the requirements in section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 concerning voter identifications. 
(6) General information on voting rights under applicable federal and State law, including information on the right of an individual to cast a provisional ballot and instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if the voter believes those rights have been violated. 
(7) General information on federal and State laws that prohibit acts of fraud and misrepresentation as to voting and elections. 
(b) Intent. - The posting required by subsection (a) of this section is intended to meet the mandate of the voting information requirements in section 302(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. (2003-226, s. 8.) 
 
GS 163-166.9. Curbside voting. 
(a) In any election or referendum, if any qualified voter is able to travel to the voting place, but because of age or physical disability and physical barriers encountered at the voting place is unable to enter the voting enclosure to vote in person without physical assistance, that voter shall be allowed to vote either in the vehicle conveying that voter or in the immediate proximity of the voting place. 
(b) Any qualified voter voting under this section shall comply with G.S. 163-166.13(a) by one of the following means: 
(1) Presenting photo identification in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13. 
(2) Presenting a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2). 
(c) The State Board of Elections shall adopt rules for the administration of this section. (2001-460, s. 3; 2013-381, s. 2.6.) 
 
GS 163-166.10. Procedures after the close of voting. 
The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules for closing the voting place and delivering voting information to the county board of elections for counting, canvassing, and record maintenance. Those rules shall emphasize the need for the appearance as well as the reality of security, accuracy, participation by representatives of more than one political party, openness of the process to public inspection, and honesty. The rules, at a minimum, shall include procedures to ensure all of the following: 
(1) The return and accurate accounting of all official ballots, regular, provisional, voted, unvoted, and spoiled, according to the provisions of Article 15A of this Chapter. 
(2) The certification of ballots and voter-authorization documents by precinct officials of more than one political party. 
(3) The delivery to the county board of elections of registration documents and information gleaned through the voting process that would be helpful in the accurate maintenance of the voter registration records. 
(4) The return to the county board of all issued equipment. 
(5) The restoration of the voting place to the condition in which it was found. (2001-460, ss. 3, 3.1.) 
 
GS 163-166.11. Provisional voting requirements. 
If an individual seeking to vote claims to be a registered voter in a jurisdiction as provided in G.S. 163-82.1 and though eligible to vote in the election does not appear on the official list of eligible registered voters in the voting place, that individual may cast a provisional official ballot as follows: 
(1) An election official at the voting place shall notify the individual that the individual may cast a provisional official ballot in that election. 
(2) The individual may cast a provisional official ballot at that voting place upon executing a written affirmation before an election official at the voting place, stating that the individual is a registered voter in the jurisdiction as provided in G.S. 163-82.1 in which the individual seeks to vote and is eligible to vote in that election. 
(2a) A voter who has moved within the county more than 30 days before election day but has not reported the move to the board of elections shall not be required on that account to vote a provisional ballot at the one-stop site, as long as the one-stop site has available all the information necessary to determine whether a voter is registered to vote in the county and which ballot the voter is eligible to vote based on the voter's proper residence address. The voter with that kind of unreported move shall be allowed to vote the same kind of absentee ballot as other one-stop voters as provided in G.S. 163-227.2(e2). 
(3) At the time the individual casts the provisional official ballot, the election officials shall provide the individual written information stating that anyone casting a provisional official ballot can ascertain whether and to what extent the ballot was counted and, if the ballot was not counted in whole or in part, the reason it was not counted. The State Board of Elections or the county board of elections shall establish a system for so informing a provisional voter. It shall make the system available to every provisional voter without charge, and it shall build into it reasonable procedures to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of the voter's personal information and vote. 
(4) The cast provisional official ballot and the written affirmation shall be secured by election officials at the voting place according to guidelines and procedures adopted by the State Board of Elections. At the close of the polls, election officials shall transmit the provisional official ballots cast at that voting place to the county board of elections for prompt verification according to guidelines and procedures adopted by the State Board of Elections. 
(5) Repealed by Session Laws 2014-111, s. 12(b), effective August 6, 2014. (2003-226, s. 15; 2005-2, s. 4; 2005-428, s. 6(b); 2013-381, s. 49.3; 2014-111, s. 12(b).) 
 
GS 163-166.11A. Notation on provisional ballot. 
Whenever a voter is permitted to vote a provisional ballot, the election official issuing the ballot shall annotate in writing or other means on the ballot that it is a provisional ballot. (2013-381, s. 52.1.) 
 
GS 163-166.12. Requirements for certain voters who register by mail. 
(a) Voting in Person. - An individual who has registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, and has not previously voted in an election that includes a ballot item for federal office in North Carolina, shall present to a local election official at a voting place before voting there one of the following: 
(1) A current and valid photo identification. 
(2) A copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document. 
(b) Voting Mail-In Absentee. - An individual who has registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, and has not previously voted in an election that includes a ballot item for federal office in North Carolina, in order to cast a mail-in absentee vote, shall submit with the mailed-in absentee ballot one of the following: 
(1) A copy of a current and valid photo identification. 
(2) A copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document. 
(b1) Notation of Identification Proof. - The county board of elections shall note the type of identification proof submitted by the voter under the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section and may dispose of the tendered copy of identification proof as soon as the type of proof is noted in the voter registration records. 
(b2) Voting When Identification Numbers Do Not Match. - Regardless of whether an individual has registered by mail or by another method, if the individual has provided with the registration form a drivers license number or last four digits of a Social Security number but the computer validation of the number as required by G.S. 163-82.12 did not result in a match, and the number has not been otherwise validated by the board of elections, in the first election in which the individual votes that individual shall submit with the ballot the form of identification described in subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section, depending upon whether the ballot is voted in person or absentee. If that identification is provided and the board of elections does not determine that the individual is otherwise ineligible to vote a ballot, the failure of identification numbers to match shall not prevent that individual from registering to vote and having that individual's vote counted. 
(c) The Right to Vote Provisionally. - If an individual is required under subsection (a), (b), or (b2) of this section to present identification in order to vote, but that individual does not present the required identification, that individual may vote a provisional official ballot. If the voter is at the voting place, the voter may vote provisionally there without unnecessary delay. If the voter is voting by mail-in absentee ballot, the mailed ballot without the required identification shall be treated as a provisional official ballot. 
(d) Exemptions. - This section does not apply to any of the following: 
(1) An individual who registers by mail and submits as part of the registration application either of the following: 
a. A copy of a current and valid photo identification. 
b. A copy of one of the following documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document. 
(2) An individual who registers by mail and submits as part of the registration application the individual's drivers license number or at least the last four digits of the individual's social security number where an election official matches either or both of the numbers submitted with an existing State identification record bearing the same number, name, and date of birth contained in the submitted registration. If any individual's number does not match, the individual shall provide identification as required in subsection (b2) of this section in the first election in which the individual votes. 
(3) An individual who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. 
(4) An individual who is entitled to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act. 
(5) An individual who is entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other federal law. (2003-226, s. 16; 2004-127, s. 3; 2007-391, s. 21(a); 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2013-381, s. 16.4; 2013-410, s. 14(b).) 
 
GS 163-166.13. Photo identification requirement for voting in person. 
(a) Every qualified voter voting in person in accordance with this Article, G.S. 163-227.2, or G.S. 163-182.1A shall present photo identification bearing any reasonable resemblance to that voter to a local election official at the voting place before voting, except as follows: 
(1) For a registered voter voting curbside, that voter shall present identification under G.S. 163-166.9. 
(2) For a registered voter who has a sincerely held religious objection to being photographed and has filed a declaration in accordance with G.S. 163-82.7A at least 25 days before the election in which that voter is voting in person, that voter shall not be required to provide photo identification. 
(3) For a registered voter who is a victim of a natural disaster occurring within 60 days before election day that resulted in a disaster declaration by the President of the United States or the Governor of this State who declares the lack of photo identification due to the natural disaster on a form provided by the State Board, that voter shall not be required to provide photo identification in any county subject to such declaration. The form shall be available from the State Board of Elections, from each county board of elections in a county subject to the disaster declaration, and at each polling place and one-stop early voting site in that county. The voter shall submit the completed form at the time of voting. 
(b) Any voter who complies with subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted to vote. 
(c) Any voter who does not comply with subsection (a) of this section shall be notified of the following options: 
(1) The voter is permitted to vote a provisional official ballot which shall be counted in accordance with G.S. 163-182.1A. 
(2) The voter is permitted to complete a reasonable impediment declaration, as provided in G.S. 163-166.15, and vote a provisional official ballot which shall be counted in accordance with G.S. 163-182.1B. 
(3) The voter is permitted to complete a written request for an absentee ballot in accordance with G.S. 163-227.2(b1) until the deadline for submission of requests for absentee ballots provided in G.S. 163-230.1. 
(d) The local election official to whom the photo identification is presented shall determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to the voter presenting the photo identification. If it is determined that the photo identification does not bear any reasonable resemblance to the voter, the local election official shall comply with G.S. 163-166.14. 
(e) Except as provided in subsection (e1) of this section, as used in this section, "photo identification" means any one of the following that contains a photograph of the registered voter, has a printed expiration date, and is unexpired, unless otherwise noted: 
(1) A North Carolina drivers license issued under Article 2 of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, including a learner's permit or a provisional license, provided that it shall be acceptable if it has a printed expiration date that is not more than four years before it is presented for voting. 
(2) A special identification card for nonoperators issued under G.S. 20-37.7, provided that it shall be acceptable if it has a printed expiration date that is not more than four years before it is presented for voting. 
(3) A United States passport. 
(4) A United States military identification card, except there is no requirement that it have a printed expiration or issuance date. 
(5) A Veterans Identification Card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for use at Veterans Administration medical facilities facilities, except there is no requirement that it have a printed expiration or issuance date. 
(6) A tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe, provided that if the tribal enrollment card does not contain a printed expiration date, it shall be acceptable if it has a printed issuance date that is not more than eight years before it is presented for voting. 
(7) A tribal enrollment card issued by a tribe recognized by this State under Chapter 71A of the General Statutes, provided that card meets all of the following criteria: 
a. Is issued in accordance with a process approved by the State Board of Elections that requires an application and proof of identity equivalent to the requirements for issuance of a special identification card by the Division of Motor Vehicles under G.S. 20-7 and G.S. 20-37.7. 
b. Is signed by an elected official of the tribe. 
(8) A drivers license or nonoperators identification card issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a territory or commonwealth of the United States, but only if the voter's voter registration was within 90 days of the election. 
(f) Any voter 70 years of age or older shall be permitted to present an expired form of photo identification listed in subsection (e) of this section, if that identification expired at any point after that voter's 70th birthday. (2013-381, s. 2.1; 2014-111, s. 7; 2015-103, s. 8(a).) 
 
GS 163-166.14. (Effective January 1, 2016 - see note) Evaluation of determination of nonreasonable resemblance of photo identification. 
(a) Any local election official that determines the photo identification presented by a voter in accordance with G.S. 163-166.13 does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter shall notify the judges of election of the determination. 
(b) When notified under subsection (a) of this section, the judges of election present shall review the photo identification presented and the voter to determine if the photo identification bears any reasonable resemblance to that voter. The judges of election present may consider information presented by the voter in addition to the photo identification and shall construe all evidence presented in a light most favorable to the voter. 
(c) A voter subject to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted to vote unless the judges of election present unanimously agree that the photo identification presented does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter. The failure of the judges of election present to unanimously agree that photo identification presented by a voter does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter shall be dispositive of any challenges that may otherwise be made under G.S. 163-85(c)(10). 
(d) A voter subject to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be permitted to vote a provisional ballot in accordance with G.S. 163-88.1 if the judges of election present unanimously agree that the photo identification presented does not bear any reasonable resemblance to that voter. 
(e) At any time a voter presents photo identification to a local election official other than on election day, the county board of elections shall have available to the local election official judges of election for the review required under subsection (b) of this section, appointed with the same qualifications as is in Article 5 of this Chapter, except that the individuals may (i) reside anywhere in the county or (ii) be an employee of the county or the State. Neither the local election official nor the judges of election may be a county board member. The county board is not required to have the same judges of election available throughout the time period a voter may present photo identification other than on election day but shall have at least two judges, who are not of the same political party affiliation, available at all times during that period. 
(f) Any local or State employee appointed to serve as a judge of election may hold that office in addition to the number permitted by G.S. 128-1.1. 
(g) The county board of elections shall cause to be made a record of all voters subject to subsection (c) of this section. The record shall include all of the following: 
(1) The name and address of the voter. 
(2) The name of the local election official under subsection (a) of this section. 
(3) The names and a record of how each judge of election voted under subsection (b) of this section. 
(4) The date of the determinations under subsections (a) and (b) of this section. 
(5) A brief description of the photo identification presented by the voter. 
(h) For purposes of this section, the term "judges of election" shall have the following meanings: 
(1) On election day, the chief judge and judges of election as appointed under Article 5 of this Chapter. 
(2) Any time other than on election day, the individuals appointed under subsection (e) of this section. 
(i) The State Board shall adopt rules for the administration of this section. (2013-381, s. 2.2; 2014-111, s. 6.) 
 
GS 163-166.15. Reasonable impediment declarations. 
(a) Any voter who does not comply with the photo identification requirement of G.S. 163-166.13(a) due to a reasonable impediment that prevents the voter from obtaining photo identification may vote a provisional official ballot in accordance with this section. 
(b) The voter shall complete a reasonable impediment declaration on a form provided by the State Board declaring that the voter meets all of the following criteria: 
(1) Is the same individual who personally appeared at the polling place. 
(2) Cast the provisional ballot while voting in person in accordance with this Article or G.S. 163-227.2. 
(3) Suffers from a reasonable impediment that prevents the voter from obtaining photo identification. The voter also shall list the impediment, as set forth in subsection (e) of this section, unless otherwise prohibited by State or federal law. 
(c) The voter shall also present identification in the form of (i) a copy of a document listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2) or the voter registration card issued to the voter by the county board of elections or (ii) the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number and the voter's date of birth. Upon compliance with this section, the voter may cast a provisional ballot. The declaration and a notation on the declaration form that the voter has provided the required identification shall be submitted with the provisional ballot envelope to the county board of elections and shall be counted in accordance with G.S. 163-182.1B. 
(d) If a voter fails to present identification, as required in subsection (c) of this section, but completes a reasonable impediment declaration, the voter shall be permitted to vote a provisional official ballot. The declaration and a notation on the declaration form that the voter has not provided the required identification shall be submitted with the provisional ballot envelope to the county board of elections. The ballot shall be counted in accordance with G.S. 163-182.1B if the voter presents the required identification to the county board of elections in accordance with G.S. 163-182.1B. 
(e) The reasonable impediment declaration form provided by the State Board shall, at a minimum, include the following: 
(1) Separate boxes that a voter may check to identify the reasonable impediment, including at least the following: 
a. Lack of transportation. 
b. Disability or illness. 
c. Lack of birth certificate or other documents needed to obtain photo identification. 
d. Work schedule. 
e. Family responsibilities. 
f. Lost or stolen photo identification. 
g. Photo identification applied for but not received by the voter voting in person. 
h. Other reasonable impediment. If the voter checks the "other reasonable impediment" box, a further brief written identification of the reasonable impediment shall be required, including the option to indicate that State or federal law prohibits listing the impediment. 
(2) A space for the voter to provide the last four digits of the Social Security number and the voter's date of birth, if the voter opts to provide this information as identification in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. 
(3) A space to note whether the voter has provided a copy of the document listed in G.S. 163-166.12(a)(2) or the voter registration card issued to the voter by the county board of elections. (2015-103, s. 8(d).) 
Voting Systems 
 
GS 163-165.7. Voting systems: powers and duties of State Board of Elections. 
(a) (Effective until January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) Only voting systems that have been certified by the State Board of Elections in accordance with the procedures set forth by the State Board of Elections and subject to the standards set forth in this section and that have not been subsequently decertified shall be permitted for use in elections in this State. Those certified voting systems shall be valid in any election held in the State or in any county, municipality, or other electoral district in the State. Subject to all other applicable rules adopted by the State Board of Elections and, with respect to federal elections, subject to all applicable federal regulations governing voting systems, paper ballots marked by the voter and counted by hand shall be deemed a certified voting system. The State Board of Elections shall certify optical scan voting systems, optical scan with ballot markers voting systems, and direct record electronic voting systems if any of those systems meet all applicable requirements of federal and State law. The State Board may certify voting systems only if they meet the requirements set forth in this section and only if they generate either a paper ballot or a paper record by which voters may verify their votes before casting them and which provides a backup means of counting the vote that the voter casts. Those voting systems may include optical scan and direct record electronic (DRE) voting systems. Among other requirements as set by the State Board of Elections, the certification requirements shall require at least all of the following elements: 
(1) That the vendor post a bond or letter of credit to cover damages resulting from defects in the voting system. Damages may include, among other items, any costs of conducting a new election attributable to those defects. 
(2) That the voting system comply with all federal requirements for voting systems. 
(3) That the voting system must have the capacity to include in voting tabulation district returns the votes cast by voters outside of the voter's voting tabulation district as required by G.S. 163-132.5G. 
(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper record of each individual vote cast, which paper record shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand-to-eye count, hand-to-eye recount, or other audit. Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement. 
(5) With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper record generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper record before the vote is cast. 
(6) With respect to all voting systems using electronic means, that the vendor provide access to all of any information required to be placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163-165.9A for review and examination by the State Board of Elections; the Department of Information Technology; the State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163-96; the purchasing county; and designees as provided in subdivision (9) of subsection (d) of this section. 
(7) That the vendor must quote a statewide uniform price for each unit of the equipment. 
(8) That the vendor must separately agree with the purchasing county that if it is granted a contract to provide software for an electronic voting system but fails to debug, modify, repair, or update the software as agreed or in the event of the vendor having bankruptcy filed for or against it, the source code described in G.S. 163-165.9A(a) shall be turned over to the purchasing county by the escrow agent chosen under G.S. 163-165.9A(a)(1) for the purposes of continuing use of the software for the period of the contract and for permitting access to the persons described in subdivision (6) of this subsection for the purpose of reviewing the source code. 
As part of the certification requirements, the State Board of Elections shall address the mandatory terms of the contract for the purchase of the voting system and the maintenance and training related to that voting system. 
(a) (Effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) Only voting systems that have been certified by the State Board of Elections in accordance with the procedures set forth by the State Board of Elections and subject to the standards set forth in this section and that have not been subsequently decertified shall be permitted for use in elections in this State. Those certified voting systems shall be valid in any election held in the State or in any county, municipality, or other electoral district in the State. Subject to all other applicable rules adopted by the State Board of Elections and, with respect to federal elections, subject to all applicable federal regulations governing voting systems, paper ballots marked by the voter and counted by hand shall be deemed a certified voting system. The State Board of Elections shall certify optical scan voting systems, optical scan with ballot markers voting systems, and direct record electronic voting systems if any of those systems meet all applicable requirements of federal and State law. 
The State Board may certify voting systems only if they meet the requirements set forth in this section and only if they generate a paper ballot which provides a backup means of counting the vote that the voter casts. Those voting systems may include optical scan and direct record electronic (DRE) voting systems that produce a paper ballot. Among other requirements as set by the State Board of Elections, the certification requirements shall require at least all of the following elements: 
(1) That the vendor post a bond or letter of credit to cover damages resulting from defects in the voting system. Damages may include, among other items, any costs of conducting a new election attributable to those defects. 
(2) That the voting system comply with all federal requirements for voting systems. 
(3) That the voting system must have the capacity to include in voting tabulation district returns the votes cast by voters outside of the voter's voting tabulation district as required by G.S. 163-132.5G. 
(4) With respect to electronic voting systems, that the voting system generate a paper ballot of each individual vote cast, which paper ballot shall be maintained in a secure fashion and shall serve as a backup record for purposes of any hand-to-eye count, hand-to-eye recount, or other audit. Electronic systems that employ optical scan technology to count paper ballots shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement. 
(5) With respect to DRE voting systems, that the paper ballot generated by the system be viewable by the voter before the vote is cast electronically, and that the system permit the voter to correct any discrepancy between the electronic vote and the paper ballot before the vote is cast. 
(6) With respect to all voting systems using electronic means, that the vendor provide access to all of any information required to be placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163-165.9A for review and examination by the State Board of Elections; the Department of Information Technology; the State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163-96; the purchasing county; and designees as provided in subdivision (9) of subsection (d) of this section. 
(7) That the vendor must quote a statewide uniform price for each unit of the equipment. 
(8) That the vendor must separately agree with the purchasing county that if it is granted a contract to provide software for an electronic voting system but fails to debug, modify, repair, or update the software as agreed or in the event of the vendor having bankruptcy filed for or against it, the source code described in G.S. 163-165.9A(a) shall be turned over to the purchasing county by the escrow agent chosen under G.S. 163-165.9A(a)(1) for the purposes of continuing use of the software for the period of the contract and for permitting access to the persons described in subdivision (6) of this subsection for the purpose of reviewing the source code. 
As part of the certification requirements, the State Board of Elections shall address the mandatory terms of the contract for the purchase of the voting system and the maintenance and training related to that voting system. 
(a1) Federal Assistance. - The State Board may use guidelines, information, testing reports, certification, decertification, recertification, and any relevant data produced by the Election Assistance Commission, its Standards Board, its Board of Advisors, or the Technical Guidelines Development Committee as established in Title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 with regard to any action or investigation the State Board may take concerning a voting system. The State Board may use, for the purposes of voting system certification, laboratories accredited by the Election Assistance Commission under the provisions of section 231(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. 
(a2) Only electronic poll books that have been certified by the State Board in accordance with procedures and subject to standards adopted by the State Board shall be permitted for use in elections in this State. 
(b) The State Board may also, upon notice and hearing, decertify types, makes, and models of voting systems. Upon decertifying a type, make, or model of voting system, the State Board shall determine the process by which the decertified system is discontinued in any county. A county may appeal a decision by the State Board concerning the process by which the decertified system is discontinued in that county to the Superior Court of Wake County. The county has 30 days from the time it receives notice of the State Board's decision on the process by which the decertified system is discontinued in that county to make that appeal. 
(c) Prior to certifying a voting system, the State Board of Elections shall review, or designate an independent expert to review, all source code made available by the vendor pursuant to this section and certify only those voting systems compliant with State and federal law. At a minimum, the State Board's review shall include a review of security, application vulnerability, application code, wireless security, security policy and processes, security/privacy program management, technology infrastructure and security controls, security organization and governance, and operational effectiveness, as applicable to that voting system. Any portion of the report containing specific information related to any trade secret as designated pursuant to G.S. 132-1.2 shall be confidential and shall be accessed only under the rules adopted pursuant to subdivision (9) of subsection (d) of this section. The State Board may hear and discuss the report of any such review under G.S. 143-318.11(a)(1). 
(d) (Effective until January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, the State Board of Elections shall prescribe rules for the adoption, handling, operation, and honest use of certified voting systems, including all of the following: 
(1) Procedures for county boards of elections to utilize when recommending the purchase of a certified voting system for use in that county. 
(2) Form of official ballot labels to be used on voting systems. 
(3) Operation and manner of voting on voting systems. 
(4) Instruction of precinct officials in the use of voting systems. 
(5) Instruction of voters in the use of voting systems. 
(6) Assistance to voters using voting systems. 
(7) Duties of custodians of voting systems. 
(8) Examination and testing of voting systems in a public forum in the county before and after use in an election. 
(9) Notwithstanding G.S. 132-1.2, procedures for the review and examination of any information placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163-165.9A by only the following persons: 
a. State Board of Elections. 
b. Department of Information Technology. 
c. The State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163-96. 
d. The purchasing county. 
Each person listed in sub-subdivisions a. through d. of this subdivision may designate up to three persons as that person's agents to review and examine the information. No person shall designate under this subdivision a business competitor of the vendor whose proprietary information is being reviewed and examined. For purposes of this review and examination, any designees under this subdivision and the State party chairs shall be treated as public officials under G.S. 132-2. 
(10) With respect to electronic voting systems, procedures to maintain the integrity of both the electronic vote count and the paper record. Those procedures shall at a minimum include procedures to protect against the alteration of the paper record after a machine vote has been recorded and procedures to prevent removal by the voter from the voting enclosure of any paper record or copy of an individually voted ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper record. 
(11) Compliance with section 301 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. 
Any rules adopted under this subsection shall be in conjunction with procedures and standards adopted under G.S. 163-182.1, are exempt from Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, and are subject to the same procedures for notice and publication set forth in G.S. 163-182.1. 
(d) (Effective January 1, 2018 or September 1, 2019 - see note) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, the State Board of Elections shall prescribe rules for the adoption, handling, operation, and honest use of certified voting systems, including all of the following: 
(1) Procedures for county boards of elections to utilize when recommending the purchase of a certified voting system for use in that county. 
(2) Form of official ballot labels to be used on voting systems. 
(3) Operation and manner of voting on voting systems. 
(4) Instruction of precinct officials in the use of voting systems. 
(5) Instruction of voters in the use of voting systems. 
(6) Assistance to voters using voting systems. 
(7) Duties of custodians of voting systems. 
(8) Examination and testing of voting systems in a public forum in the county before and after use in an election. 
(9) Notwithstanding G.S. 132-1.2, procedures for the review and examination of any information placed in escrow by a vendor pursuant to G.S. 163-165.9A by only the following persons: 
a. State Board of Elections. 
b. Department of Information Technology. 
c. The State chairs of each political party recognized under G.S. 163-96. 
d. The purchasing county 
Each person listed in sub-subdivisions a. through d. of this subdivision may designate up to three persons as that person's agents to review and examine the information. No person shall designate under this subdivision a business competitor of the vendor whose proprietary information is being reviewed and examined. For purposes of this review and examination, any designees under this subdivision and the State party chairs shall be treated as public officials under G.S. 132-2. 
(10) With respect to electronic voting systems, procedures to maintain the integrity of both the electronic vote count and the paper ballot. Those procedures shall at a minimum include procedures to protect against the alteration of the paper ballot after a machine vote has been recorded and procedures to prevent removal by the voter from the voting enclosure of any individually voted paper ballot or of any other device or item whose removal from the voting enclosure could permit compromise of the integrity of either the machine count or the paper ballot. 
(11) Compliance with section 301 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. 
Any rules adopted under this subsection shall be in conjunction with procedures and standards adopted under G.S. 163-182.1, are exempt from Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, and are subject to the same procedures for notice and publication set forth in G.S. 163-182.1. 
(e) The State Board of Elections shall facilitate training and support of the voting systems utilized by the counties. The training may be conducted through the use of videoconferencing or other technology. (2001-460, s. 3; 2003-226, s. 11; 2005-323, s. 1(a)-(d); 2006-264, s. 76(a); 2007-391, s. 6(d); 2008-187, s. 33(b); 2009-541, s. 19; 2013-381, s. 30.3; 2015-103, ss. 6(b), 10, 11(a); 2015-241, s. 7A.4(gg).) 
 
GS 163-165.8. Voting systems: powers and duties of board of county commissioners. 
The board of county commissioners, with the approval of the county board of elections, may adopt and acquire only a voting system of a type, make, and model certified by the State Board of Elections for use in some or all voting places in the county at some or all elections. 
The board of county commissioners may decline to adopt and acquire any voting system recommended by the county board of elections but may not adopt and acquire any voting system that has not been approved by the county board of elections. Article 8 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes does not apply to the purchase of a voting system certified by the State Board of Elections. (2001-460, s. 3; 2005-323, s. 3.) 
 
GS 163-165.9. Voting systems: powers and duties of county board of elections. 
(a) Before approving the adoption and acquisition of any voting system by the board of county commissioners, the county board of elections shall do all of the following: 
(1) Recommend to the board of county commissioners which type of voting system should be acquired by the county. 
(2) Witness a demonstration, in that county or at a site designated by the State Board of Elections, of the type of voting system to be recommended and also witness a demonstration of at least one other type of voting system certified by the State Board of Elections. 
(3) Test, during an election, the proposed voting system in at least one precinct in the county where the voting system would be used if adopted. 
(b) After the acquisition of any voting system, the county board of elections shall comply with any requirements of the State Board of Elections regarding training and support of the voting system by completing all of the following: 
(1) The county board of elections shall comply with all specifications of its voting system vendor for ballot printers. The county board of elections is authorized to contract with noncertified ballot printing vendors, so long as the noncertified ballot printing vendor meets all specifications and all quality assurance requirements as set by the State Board of Elections. 
(2) The county board of elections shall annually maintain software license and maintenance agreements necessary to maintain the warranty of its voting system. A county board of elections may employ qualified personnel to maintain a voting system in lieu of entering into maintenance agreements necessary to maintain the warranty of its voting system. State Board of Elections is not required to provide routine maintenance to any county board of elections that does not maintain the warranty of its voting system. If the State Board of Elections provides any maintenance to a county that has not maintained the warranty of its voting system, the county shall reimburse the State for the cost. The State Board of Elections shall annually report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, to the Fiscal Research Division, and to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations on implementation of this subdivision. If requested by the county board of elections, the State Board of Elections may enter into contracts on behalf of that county under this subdivision, but such contracts must also be approved by the county board of elections. Any contract entered into under this subdivision shall be paid from non-State funds. Neither a county nor the State Board of Elections shall enter into any contract with any vendor for software license and maintenance agreements unless the vendor agrees to (i) operate a training program for qualification of county personnel under this subsection with training offered within the State of North Carolina and (ii) not dishonor warranties merely because the county is employing qualified personnel to maintain the voting system as long as the county: 
a. Pays the costs of the annual software licensing agreement for that county. 
b. Ensures that equipment (i) remains in full compliance with State certification requirements and (ii) remains in stock and supply available to the county for up to five years after the vendor discontinues distribution or sale of the equipment. 
c. Maintains a tracking record to record and timely report all hardware issues and all repairs and provides those records for review by the vendor and by the State Board of Elections. 
d. Provides that only parts provided by the vendor would be used to repair the vendor's equipment, contingent on (i) the county being able to purchase necessary parts in a timely manner from the vendor and (ii) the vendor providing the equipment at least at the lowest price at which it sells the equipment to any other customer in the United States. 
e. Accepts financial responsibility for expenses related to voting equipment failure during an election if the failure is caused solely by work of the county technician. 
(3) The county board of elections shall not replace any voting system, or any portion thereof, without approval of the State Board of Elections. 
(4) The county board of elections may have its voting system repaired pursuant to its maintenance agreement but shall notify the State Board of Elections at the time of every repair, according to guidelines that shall be provided by the State Board of Elections. (2001-460, s. 3; 2005-323, s. 4; 2007-391, s. 25; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 20; 2011-145, s. 26.3(a); 2012-142, s. 23.3(a).) 
 
GS 163-165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties. 
(a) Duties of Vendor. - Every vendor that has a contract to provide a voting system in North Carolina shall do all of the following: 
(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low-level and high-level languages. 
(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection. 
(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis. 
(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems. 
(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract. 
(b) Penalties. - Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163-278.34(e). (2005-323, s. 2(a).) 
 
GS 163-165.10. Adequacy of voting system for each precinct. 
The county board of elections shall make available for each precinct voting place an adequate quantity of official ballots or equipment. When the board of county commissioners has decided to adopt and purchase or lease a voting system for voting places under the provisions of G.S. 165-165.8, the board of county commissioners shall, as soon as practical, provide for each of those voting places sufficient equipment of the approved voting system in complete working order. If it is impractical to furnish each voting place with the equipment of the approved voting system, that which has been obtained may be placed in voting places chosen by the county board of elections. In that case, the county board of elections shall choose the voting places and allocate the equipment in a way that as nearly as practicable provides equal access to the voting system for each voter. The county board of elections shall appoint as many voting system custodians as may be necessary for the proper preparation of the system for each election and for its maintenance, storage, and care. The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections may permit a county board of elections to provide more than one type of voting system in a precinct, but only upon a finding that doing so is necessary to comply with federal or State law. (2001-460, s. 3; 2005-428, s. 2.) 

Active – Registrants actively registered to vote. 

Denied – An application for original registration was not approved by the county board, or is not verified by the required mailings; the county board determines that the applicant is not qualified to register to vote in the county; two verification notices have been returned by the Postal Service with no forwarding address information.

Inactive – Registrants who have moved and are living in another county and/or state. A registered voter also gets classified as inactive after not voting in a state-specific number of federal elections and after not replying to mail outreach within a state-specific period of time to verify their address. Inactive voters can still vote.

P-17 – A registrant who will turn 18 before the next election but is registering while under 19. 

Removed – An active or inactive voter has been removed from the registration rolls; reasons for removal include death, felony conviction, move out of the county, signed cancellation statement by voter, and failure to respond to list maintenance mailings; removed is different than denied because a denied voter has never been properly registered.

Temporary – Voters with Military or Overseas absentee request record that registered to vote using the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) or Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB); expires at end of calendar year unless the voter has extended for an additional calendar year.