[Image via NCSBE]

North Carolina’s State Board of Elections has partnered with the Department of Motor Vehicles to offer residents the opportunity to register to vote or update their records online without conducting other DMV business. Here’s the release:

The State Board of Elections and N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles have launched a service to allow NCDMV customers to apply to register to vote or update existing voter registration information online.

This is a standalone service that does not require the user to complete a NCDMV transaction, such as a license renewal or duplicate, at the same time.

The free service comes at a time when many county boards of elections have limited access or are closed to the public, and while residents are being asked to stay home because of the spread of COVID-19.

Existing NCDMV customers with a North Carolina driver’s license or NCDMV-issued ID may apply to register to vote or update voter address or political party information through the NCDMV Voter Registration web page. The application currently does not allow voters to change their name.

All voter registration services are free.

“We’re excited for this new service. It’s another way we can help North Carolina voters while we practice social distancing,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections.

“The NCDMV already offered online voter registration services to customers completing  transactions,” said NCDMV Commissioner Torre Jessup. “It made sense to collaborate with the State Board of Elections to now offer that same process without requiring a transaction so we could provide a valuable and convenient service for North Carolinians.”    

Individuals using the online process will authorize the signature NCDMV has on file for them to be affixed to their voter registration application. 

NCDMV’s vendor, PayIt, is hosting the service. A link to the voter registration service also is available through the State Board of Elections’ website here: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Registering-to-Vote.

County boards of elections will continue to confirm the eligibility of online registrants through standard procedures, including verification mailings.

Eligible North Carolina residents who are not NCDMV customers must still fill out a paper voter registration form and return it to their county board of elections to register to vote or make changes to their voter registration.

To check your N.C. voter registration, go here: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/.

This move adds North Carolina to the the overwhelming majority of states that offer OVR to current or prospective voters; while the service is available only to individuals with DMV identification cards, this is consistent with practice in numerous other OVR states. It’s a huge step forward at a time when voters are unable to personally visit an election office because of concerns about the coronavirus. Kudos to everyone in the Tar Heel State for their work on this effort on behalf of voters … stay tuned!