Test Your Knowledge: 12 Questions About Voting in North Carolina

 With less than three weeks before early voting begins, the watchdog group Democracy North Carolina unveiled this week a comprehensive website featuring “Everything you need to register and vote in NC.” The site is accessible through the organization’s website www.democracy-nc.org or directly at www.2008ElectionConnection.com .

I suspect even political junkies couldn’t answer the questions our organizers routinely get in the field. Here's 12 questions to test your knowledge. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the correct answers.

1.  What’s the last day a person can register to vote for the May 6 primary?

2.  Can a 17 year old register and vote in the May primary?

3.  What’s the rule for college students?  Can a student use a campus address to register, rather than a parent’s address or a permanent mailing address?

4.  Is it okay for an organization to pass out registration forms with a pre-marked party affiliation and be careful to only let people who agree with that affiliation use the forms?

5.  If as a first-time voter you are asked to show an ID at the polling place but you don’t have one with you, can you vote and show the ID to the election officials a few days later?

6.  On Election Day, can voters go to any precinct in their county to vote?

7.  An ex-felon can vote if his or her “rights of citizenship have been restored” – what must convicted felons do to restore their citizenship rights?

8.  Is a person serving a jail sentence for a misdemeanor eligible to register and vote?

9.  How many signatures of witnesses are needed for a mail-in absentee ballot to be counted?

10.  Can a person registered as Unaffiliated use an absentee ballot to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary?

11.  What is the latest an absentee ballot can be received at the board of election office and still count?

12.  For the General Election, what’s the youngest age a person can be to serve as a paid poll worker for a local board of elections?

Answers: 

1.  What’s the last day a person can register to vote for the May 6 primary?    Answer: May 3, using Same-Day Registration at the One-Stop Early Voting sites 

2.  Can a 17 year old register and vote in the May primary?    Answer: Yes, if they will be 18 on Nov. 4
 

3.  What’s the rule for college students?  Can a student use a campus address to register, rather than a parent’s address or a permanent mailing address?  Answer: YES
 

4.  Is it okay for an organization to pass out registration forms with a pre-marked party affiliation and be careful to only let people who agree with that affiliation use the forms?  Answer: NO
 

5.  If, as a first-time voter, you are asked to show an ID at the polling place but you don’t have one with you, can you vote and show the ID to the election officials a few days later?   Answer: YES, you can return and show the ID before the canvass date.
 

6.  On Election Day, can voters go to any precinct in their county to vote?  Answer: YES, but only items they are eligible to vote for in their home precinct will be counted.
 

7.  An ex-felon can vote if his or her “rights of citizenship have been restored” – what must convicted felons do to restore their citizenship rights?  Answer: Convicted felons temporarily lose their voting rights. Once they serve all parts of their sentence, including probation or parole, their rights are automatically “restored” and they can register and vote like any other citizen. They do not need a document declaring the restoration of citizenship rights.
 

8.  Is a person serving a jail sentence for a misdemeanor eligible to register and vote?
  Answer: YES.  They can register and vote by mail.
 

9.  How many signatures of witnesses are needed for a mail-in absentee ballot to be counted?  Answer: Two
   
10.  Can a person registered as Unaffiliated use an absentee ballot to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary?  Answer: YES, but they must request the party’s ballot.

  
11.  What is the latest an absentee ballot can be received at the board of election office and still count? 
Answer: 5 pm on the day before Election Day (with this exception: a vote in the presidential race can be counted on a ballot received on Election Day)

 
  12.  For the General Election, what’s the youngest age a person can be to serve as a paid poll worker for a local board of elections?  Answer: 17 years old

4 Comments

  1. Jerimee

    April 1, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I’m going to steal and post this non-partisan info on the NCDP site. Yall okay with that?

  2. Bob Hall

    April 1, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Partisan and nonpartisan groups, anybody and everybody, can post links to the website, copy the quiz, whatever. We want as many people to know and use their voting rights as possible. Thanks!

  3. Gerry

    April 1, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I think the answer to #6, while correct, is not something to encourage. It is MUCH slower to go to a random precinct in your county and fill out a provisional ballot. It not only slows you down in voting, but also delays other voters in the precinct you have gone to.

  4. Linda

    April 1, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you for putting this together. I was surprised by what I didn’t know!