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Voter Registration: How To, FAQs, and Tips
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  1. Voter Registration: How To, FAQs, and Tips

  2. How to Register Someone to Vote

  3. Who Can Register to Vote? You must be: • A US citizen • At least 18 years old by General Election • Not currently serving a felony sentence

  4. Who Can Register Others? Anyone! • No special certification required • You don’t have to be eligible to vote yourself

  5. Your Obligation as Registrar • You cannot coerce someone into registering for any particular party • You can complete the form for the voter, but they must sign it themselves • If you accept a completed form, you must turn it into the county Board of Elections before the deadline

  6. Registration Deadlines • Mail or turn in completed forms to your county Board of Elections within 7 days • To vote in an election, you must register 25 days before • This rule is firm; there is no more Same Day Registration during Early Voting

  7. Filling Out the Form: Required! • Checkboxes in Section 1 • Full legal name in Section 2 (that matches your ID or SSN) • Date of birth in Section 2 or 3 (depending on form) • Residential address • Signature

  8. Filling Out the Form: Key Sections • Identifying numbers – Providing this information helps the Board of Elections verify your identity (required by federal law) • This could be your NC driver’s license or ID or the last four of your SSN • If no ID# is listed, you’ll be required to show an identifying document when you first vote • On the new form: Focus voter’s attention on Section 3 and check the box if they have no ID#

  9. Filling Out the Form: Key Sections • Phone number • So the Board of Elections can contact the voter if there are any problems with the form • Also helpful for Get-Out-the-Vote follow-up calls – I would delete this; people hate those calls. • Race, Gender & Ethnicity • Helps monitor the political process for bias

  10. Frequently asked Questions

  11. What Party Should I Register For? • Tell them “You should choose a party that most closely aligns with your values or you can choose to be unaffiliated. I’m not allowed to recommend a party.”

  12. What’s the Difference Between Parties? • Resist the urge to answer this question yourself. • Instead say, “You can call or look up the parties online to find out more about their positions.” • You can also use an elected official as an illustration, “Ronald Reagan was a Republican President; Barack Obama is a Democratic President.”

  13. I’ll be 18 Soon. Can I Register? • If you will be 18 by the General Election in the fall, then yes. • You can vote in the primary if you’re 17 but will be 18 on the day of the General Election.

  14. What if I Have a Felony Conviction? • Your sentence must be complete (including any probation or parole) before re-registering. • Use the same form as anyone else. Re-register like a new voter. • No special documents required!

  15. What if I Have a Misdemeanor Conviction? • Don’t worry. Your right to vote is not affected by a misdemeanor conviction, even if you have served or are currently serving a jail sentence.

  16. What if I Have Pending Felony Charges? • As long as you have not been convicted, your right to vote is intact.

  17. What If I Don’t Have a Permanent Address? • Your residence address is where you sleep or spend most of your time. If that’s a shelter or a friend’s house, use that address. If it has no address, use a shelter or other agency (draw the sleeping location in the box in section 5.) • Your mailing address can be a PO Box, a local shelter, parent’s home – where you get mail. • Alert:Updateyourregistrationwhenyoumove.

  18. I Think I’m Already Registered. • If you have a smart phone or laptop available say, “I can look up your registration right now at” • If you can’t access the internet say, “You can find out by calling the State Board of Elections at (866) 522-4723.” • Or, just suggest they re-register. The new registration will update your old one. 

  19. What Happens After I Register? • You should receive a verification card from the county Board of Elections. • You may also get a letter asking for more identifying information. This happens when the Board of Elections can’t verify your identity based on the information on the voter registration form. • Most common if the person doesn’t provide any identifying numbers in Section 3.

  20. What If the Voter is Transgender? • Make sure the name on your ID or Social Security card matches the name on your voter registration. Otherwise, it may derail the verification process. • Other questions? Call the State Board of Elections at  (866) 522-4723 .

  21. Tips for registering voters

  22. Let Your Light Shine • Speak out! If people are already registered or don’t want to register, they’ll let you know. • Emphasize “update” or “current” – “Are you registered at your current address?” • Enthusiasm works! Stay upbeat and friendly. Smile and talk to folks passing by. Your warmth may convince them to stop and register.

  23. Share Information • Incorporate voter education into your conversations. Voting is most exciting in context. • Hand out Know Your Rights wallet cards, information on voting with a felony conviction, the recent voting law changes, or other nonpartisan materials.

  24. Make it Easy • Provide a hard surface for people filling out the form. It could be a table and chair for a site-based drive or a clipboard if you’re on foot. • Offer to fill out the form for them, if they have their hands full.

  25. Get That Form! • Double-check the form before the voter leaves! Make sure all required & most key sections are filled out. • Keep the form and make sure it gets turned in properly and on time. • If someone wants to take a form with them, be sure they know key sections to complete and where to mail it when done.

  26. What To Expect • On average, site-based voter drives may yield 5 to 7 registrations an hour per volunteer. Door-to-door drives may yield fewer per volunteer team. • Voter registration can be a slow process. Don’t get discouraged!

  27. HOlding a voter registration drive

  28. How Will You Register Voters? • Site-based registration means setting up a table at a community event, a Wal-Mart, a church, or other high traffic location. • These drives often result in higher numbers for less effort • Door-to-door registration means going through a neighborhood. • These drives allow you to target your efforts to specific area or neighborhood

  29. Making a Plan • Pick a date and time: What days and times are people most likely to be at the site or in the neighborhood you’ve picked? • Get permission from location sites, if needed. • Work with other groups, if possible.

  30. What to Bring • Voter registration forms and pens (blue and black ink) • Signs (“Register to Vote Here”) • Clipboards (especially if registering on-foot) • Nonpartisan voter education materials • Envelope or box for completed forms • Tables and chairs for both volunteers and registrants

  31. Also Consider Bringing • Small giveaways (candy, stickers, or buttons) • Smart phone or laptop to check voters’ status online

  32. Coordinating Volunteers • Recruit more folks than you need to account for possible last-minute cancellations • Plan to work in teams of two, especially for door-to-door canvassing • Sign volunteers up for shifts of 3-4 hours

  33. Coordinating Volunteers • Call volunteers the night before to confirm they’re coming • Make sure that the drive leader is available to answer any questions that come up

  34. For More Information • Visit these websites: • Call 888-OUR-VOTE (Democracy NC) 866-522-4723 (State Board of Elections)