SUBCHAPTER III. QUALIFYING TO VOTE.

Article 6.

Qualifications of Voters.

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.)

 

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.)

 

163-56. Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 793, s. 19.

 

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.)

 

163-58: Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 563, s. 3.

 

163-59. Right to participate or vote in party primary.

No person shall be entitled to vote or otherwise participate in the primary election of any political party unless that person complies with all of the following:

(1) Is a registered voter.

(2) Has declared and has had recorded on the registration book or record the fact that the voter affiliates with the political party in whose primary the voter proposes to vote or participate.

(3) Is in good faith a member of that party.

Notwithstanding the previous paragraph, any unaffiliated voter who is authorized under G.S. 163-119 may also vote in the primary if the voter is otherwise eligible to vote in that primary except for subdivisions (2) and (3) of the previous paragraph.

Any person who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, even though not so qualified by the date of the primary, shall be entitled to register for the primary and general election prior to the primary and then to vote in the primary after being registered. Such person may register not earlier than 60 days nor later than the last day for making application to register under G.S. 163-82.6(c) prior to the primary. In addition, persons who will become qualified by age to register and vote in the general election for which the primary is held, who do not register during the special period may register to vote after such period as if they were qualified on the basis of age, but until they are qualified by age to vote, they may vote only in primary elections. (1915, c. 101, s. 5; 1917, c. 218; C.S., s. 6027; 1959, c. 1203, s. 6; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1166, s. 4; 1973, c. 793, s. 20; 1981, c. 33, s. 1; 1983, c. 324, s. 3; 1987, c. 408, s. 4; c. 457, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1032, s. 5; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 762, s. 23; 2007-391, s. 28; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 6; 2013-381, s. 16.2.)

 

163-60 through 163-64. Reserved for future codification purposes.