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National Voter Registration Day Sees Push For Sign-Ups, Clarification

A picture of a voting sign.
Tom Arthur
North Carolina voters are required to register 25 days before an election, although same-day registration is still allowed for early voting, pending litigation.

Volunteers hit the streets for National Voter Registration Day Tuesday, asking neighbors if their registration is current.

There are 6.3 million voters registered in North Carolina. Whether they are all registered in the counties they plan to vote in come Election Day is a different story.

Josh Lawson of the State Board of Elections says many voters have shown up at the polls in the past to find they weren't actually registered in the county they planned to vote in.

Lawson says many people assume they're registered to vote if they have a drivers license.

"There's a lot of registration activity at different public service agencies as well as kind of nonprofit groups, but DMV is where most people interact with their government, and that is the source of most registrations," Lawson says.

He says sometimes a failure to register is an oversight of a DMV teller or the customer. He says within the past month, DMV offices now ask all customers getting licenses to register or decline during their visit.

Anyone who wants to confirm they're registered can do so here.

"We think everybody should go on our web site and check their registration. You can see where you're presently registered, under what address, where you're supposed to be showing up on election day, as well as kind of a host of other opportunities that you have to vote by absentee or show up by early voting."

Voters must be registered by 25 days before an election.

Out-of-precinct balloting and same day voter registration will still be available during municipal elections this fall. A federal judge is weighing the merits of those provisions for future elections.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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