LET NC VOTE ACT.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 589 (Public) Filed Wednesday, April 3, 2019
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION AT DRIVERS LICENSE OFFICES, PUBLIC AGENCIES, COMMUNITY COLLEGES, AND COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM; REQUIRING THE BIPARTISAN STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND ETHICS ENFORCEMENT TO IMPLEMENT AN OUTREACH CAMPAIGN INFORMING CITIZENS ABOUT AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION; ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS WHO MEET THE CRITERIA TO REGISTER TO VOTE OR CHANGE VOTER REGISTRATION ONLINE; REESTABLISHING SAME DAY REGISTRATION, INCLUDING ON ELECTION DAY; REESTABLISHING THE PROGRAM TO PREREGISTER SIXTEEN AND SEVENTEEN YEAR OLDS; TO MAKE CHANGES TO PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION TO VOTE IN PERSON; AND TO RESTORE THE LAST SATURDAY OF EARLY ONE-STOP VOTING.
Intro. by Meyer, Morey, Farmer-Butterfield, John.

Status: Ref to the Com on Elections and Ethics Law, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Apr 4 2019)
H 589

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Apr 5 2019 - More information

    Part I.

    Amends GS 163A-883 by requiring, beginning January 1, 2019, that the Division of Motor Vehicles implement a method by which eligible individuals applying for a new, renewal, or correction of a drivers license, or special identification card, are automatically registered to vote or able to update voter registration if the voter has moved. Also amends GS 163A-884 to require, starting January 1, 2020, that offices that accept the following information provide an application process for automatic voter registration when an applicant applies for service or assistance, or updates information for such services or assistance: (1) applications for a program of public assistance under Article 2 of GS Chapter 108A or Article 13 of GS Chapter 130A; (2) applications for State-funded State or local government programs providing services to persons with disabilities; or (3) claims for benefits under GS Chapter 96 of the General Statutes, the Employment Security Law. Both statutes include the following. Requires the person taking the application to notify the applicant of six items related to qualifications to vote, penalties for providing false information, and use of information provided by the applicant. Applicants failing to declare party affiliation are designated as unaffiliated. Requires applications to be transmitted electronically to the appropriate board of elections in five business days. Limits use of information related to a declination to register to purposes of voter registration. Requires that information acquired for automatic voter registration be kept confidential. Provides that if a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered under this statute, the presumption is that the person's registration is officially authorized and is not attributed to any fault of the person. Specifies that the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the agencies in GS 163A-884 are not required to determine eligibility for voter registration and voting.

    Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-862 and GS 163A-865 requiring county boards of elections to accept automatic voter registration.

    Amends GS 163A-885 by requiring the educational programs and procedures presented to individuals applying to register to vote at the time they are restored to citizenship to include information on automatic voter registration. Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-885, concerning voter registration upon restoration of citizenship. 

    Amends GS 115D-5 to require, beginning January 1, 2020, that the State Board of Community Colleges provide each person enrolled and registered for courses in a state community college with the option for automatic voter registration. Also amends GS 116-11 to require the same of the UNC Board of Governors for college and university students. Requires the person taking the application to notify the applicant of six items related to qualifications to vote, penalties for providing false information, and use of information provided by the applicant. Applicants failing to declare party affiliation are designated as unaffiliated. Requires applications to be transmitted electronically to the appropriate board of elections in five business days. Limits use of information related to a declination to register to purposes of voter registration. Requires that information acquired for automatic voter registration be kept confidential. Applications to register accepted under these statutes allow the registrant to vote in any election unless the registrant applies later than the twenty-fifth calendar day immediately preceding such election. Provides that if a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered under this statute, the presumption is that the person's registration is officially authorized and is not attributed to any fault of the person. Specifies that the State community colleges, State colleges, or universities in the UNC system are not required to determine eligibility for voter registration and voting.

    Requires the Bipartisan State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to inform voters of the automatic voter registration procedures.

    Changes to GS 163A-862, GS 163A-865, GS 163A-883, and GS 163A-885 are effective January 1, 2020. Changes to GS 163A-884, GS 163A-885, GS 115D-5, and GS 116-11 are effective January 1, 2021.

    Part II.

    Enacts new GS 163A-866.5 allowing a person to register to vote and then vote in the person's county of residence on election day or during the one-stop voting period. Requires that the person complete a voter registration form, including the attestation that the person meets each eligibility requirement and provide proof of residence by presenting one of the specified valid documents. A person voting on the same day as registering will vote a retrievable ballot. Sets out requirements for verifying registration and counting the ballot. Allows an individual who will become old enough to register and vote in the general election for which a primary is held, even though they are not so qualified by the date of the primary, to register for the primary and general election before the primary and then vote in the primary and general election after being registered under the statute. 

    Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-843, GS 163A-865, GS 163A-1144, GS 163A-1300, GS 163A-1587, and GS 163A-1588.

    Part III.

    Amends GS 163A-80 to allow a person who is at least 16 years old but will not be 18 by the next election who is otherwise qualified to register to preregister to vote and be automatically registered upon reaching the age of eligibility. Requires the State Board of Elections to develop a form for preregistering to vote. Makes conforming changes to GS 163A-863, GS 163A-883 (concerning voter registration at driver's license offices), GS 163A-884 (voter registration at other public agencies), and GS 163A-888 (voter registration at public high schools). Amends GS 115C-81.45 to include instruction on preregistration in the high school civic and citizenship education course. Amends GS 115C-47 to encourage local boards of education to adopt policies to promote student voter preregistration. Encourages the State Board of Elections and Department of Public Instruction to improve outreach to high school students on voter registration and preregistration programs when students are eligible to do either one. 

    Part IV.

    Amends GS 163A-864, requiring the State Board to make voter registration forms available for completion and submission online.

    Enacts GS 163A-864.5, permitting individuals to register to vote or change voter registration online if eligible to vote and possess either an NC driver's license or special identification card issued by the DMV. Requires the State Board to establish a secure website for voters to submit voter registration applications, applications reporting a change of personal information or party affiliation, eligibility information, or the individual’s email address. Provides for verification of online applications, updating of the statewide registration database, and searching for duplicate registrations by the county board of elections and State Board.

    Amends GS 163A-871, providing for the confidentiality of any online registration data or email addresses submitted under new GS 163A-864.5. Makes technical and clarifying changes.

    Provides Part IV is effective January 1, 2020.

    Part V.

    Requires that voter photo identification cards be available on request by July 1, 2019. Requires the adoption of temporary rules to implement GS 163A-869.1, by April 15, 2019.

    Amends GS 163A-1145.1, setting out requirements for photo identification to vote in person, to allow the use of all the specified forms of identification whether the identification is expired or unexpired or is without an expiration (previously applied only to specified military and veteran identification); adds government-issued identification cards to the list of allowable identification. 

    Part VI.

    Amends SL 2018-129, Section 1(c), by removing the January 1, 2019, sunset on the provision allowing one-stop voting on the last Saturday before the election.


  • Summary date: Apr 3 2019 - More information

    To be summarized.


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