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(d) 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); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b).)