Mover's Guide: North Carolina

August 10, 2010

Board of Elections:  919-733-7173

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to North Carolina from another state, you must register to vote in North Carolina to be able to vote.[1]  Unless you register in person at the county board of elections office, the last day to register in time to vote in the next election is by 5 p.m. twenty-five days before the election.[2]  You can also register to vote in person at the office of the board of elections from the third Thursday before the election until the last Saturday before the election, but you will need to provide proof of residency.[3]

If you moved from out of state, you are only eligible to vote if you have been a resident of North Carolina and of the precinct, ward or election district in which you want to vote for at least the thirty days prior to the day of the election in which you want to vote.[4]  But under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[5]

I moved within North Carolina.

If you moved to a new address within the same county, you should send a signed written notice to your county board of elections in order to update your registration records.[6]

If you moved to a new address within a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[7]  That form is available here: http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/content.aspx?id=24

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

If you moved to a new address in the same county since you last voted, you should contact your local election office to determine whether your registration is current and to find out the location of your current polling place.  Election officials may have changed your registration record to reflect your new address even if you did not notify the election official about the move.[8]  If your registration information has been changed to your current address, you should go to the polling place associated with that address to vote.

Many registered North Carolina voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about their move before Election Day and the election official has not changed their registration.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you can vote at that polling place after confirming your change of address.[9]  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place,

If you moved to a new address within the same county but with a different polling place within 30 days before the election, you can vote in your former precinct.[10]

If you moved to a new address within the same county with a different polling place more than 30 days before the election, you have the option of voting at your new polling place upon written affirmation of your new address, or at a centralized location in the county chosen by the county board of elections.[11]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County

If you moved to a new address in a different county within 30 days of an election, you can vote at the polling place associated with your old address.[12]

If you moved to a new address in a different county within the state, more than 30 days before an election, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records for your new address[13]

 


[1] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-54 (West 2010).

[2] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.6(c).

[3] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 163-82.6A, 163-227.2, 163-226(a). 

[4] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-55(a).

[5] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[6] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.15(a).  Note that a new registration form can be used to change an address.  N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.3(a)(3).

[7] See N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-55(a), see also North Carolina State Board of Elections, Changing Your Voter Registration in North Carolina: What if I’ve Moved?, http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/content.aspx?id=24 (last visited June 4, 2010).

[8] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.14

[9] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.15(d) (West 2010).

[10] See N.C. Const. art. VI, § 2(1); accord N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-55(a).

[11] N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.15(e).

[12] N.C. Const. art. VI, § 2(1); accord N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-55(a).

[13] See N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 163-82.14(d).  See also North Carolina State Board of Elections, Changing Your Voter Registration in North Carolina: What if I’ve Moved?, http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/content.aspx?id=24 (last visited June 4, 2010).