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Appendix F: Voter Registration

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NC DIVISION OF SERVICES FOR THE BLIND POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING REHABILITATION, INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES, MEDICAL EYE CARE


Section:

V in VR Manual
V in ILR Manual
300 Item c. in ILS Manual and refer to Appendix L
200 VI in MEC Manual and refer to Appendix F

Title:

Voter Registration

Current Effective Date:

06/09

Revision History:

Revised 09/03; 02/08


The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 as amended was enacted to enhance voting opportunities for every American citizen and especially to individuals with disabilities who have historically had lower voter registration rates.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind have the responsibility to (1) complete a Voter Registration Preference Form and (2) offer the North Carolina Agency Voter Registration Application/Update Form at application for service, recertification, at each renewal of service, change of address or name. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind are required to provide the same level of assistance in completing all voter registration forms as would be offered in the completion of Agency forms.

If the individual is already registered or as voter registration forms are completed, note the information on the following applications for the appropriate program:

and in the case record indicate what the individual decided, what forms were completed, and where the forms were forwarded.

The Agency uses a district office Site Coordinator in lieu of a Statewide Site Coordinator for this program. The district office Site Coordinator has the following responsibilities: monitor the day to day administration of the program; to maintain adequate supplies of properly coded Agency Voter Registration Application/Update Forms (which is the 02 version), Agency Voter Registration Preference Forms, Voter Registration Materials Transmittal Forms, and training materials including the National Voter Registration Act Agency Voter Registration Training Manual & Guide; communicate with local and state election officials to ensure materials are current; train new or reassigned employees; resolve questions or problems; and ensure the timely and accurate transmittal of all completed voter registration forms. All voter registration forms should be submitted to the district office Site Coordinator for weekly submission to the local board of elections office in the county in which the individual lives as the form must be submitted within five business days of completion by the individual.

Special Note for ILS/MEC applications: Social Workers for the Blind while in their home counties can obtain forms from their local board of elections and can submit the Agency Voter Preference Forms, Voter Registration Application Form and Voter Registration Materials Transmittal Forms to the local board of elections. If the Social Worker for the Blind is located in the District Office, then the forms can be submitted to the Site Coordinator in their office.

    1. Voter Registration Preference Form

    a. Regardless of whether or not an individual wishes to register, each individual must complete a “Voter Registration Preference Form.” This form is used only for voter registration purposes, and serves to protect the individual from any coercion. Agency staff should reassure individuals of this fact in order to obtain a signature on the Voter Registration Preference Form. Please note that the current form use to be called “declination” forms.

    b. The individual should complete the form by checking the box next to the appropriate answer as to whether s/he wish to register to vote, print his/her full name, enter the date of birth, and sign and date the form that day.

    c. If the individual refuses to complete the Preference Form, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should print the individual’s name and date of birth, initial the form, print the transaction date and transmit the completed Voter Registration Preference Form to the district office Site Coordinator to be submitted in the same timely manner as Voter Registration Application/Update Forms. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind must note the transaction in the case file and offer the Voter Registration Preference and Voter Registration Application/Update Form the next time the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind does the annual review, renewal of service, or makes a change of address or name.

    2. Agency Voter Registration Application/Update Form (can be ordered from NCSBOE utilizing the North Carolina Voter Registration Supplies Order Form)

    a. If an individual is not registered and wishes to complete an application, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should provide the individual with the Voter Registration Preference Form which indicates a desire to complete a Voter Registration Application/Update Form and provide the individual with the Voter Registration Application/Update Form. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind are required to provide the same degree of assistance as would be given for the completion of standard Agency forms.

    b. If an individual is not registered, wishes to become registered, but does not wish to complete the Voter Registration Application/Update Form at the Agency office, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should offer the individual the opportunity to take the application home to complete at a later time. The individual should be told that the Voter Registration Application/Update Form can be returned in any of three ways:

    (1.) MAIL the completed application to the board of elections office in the county where the individual lives,

    (2.) HAND DELIVER the application to the county board of elections office, or have a third party return it to the county board of elections, or

    (3.) RETURN the application to the Agency district office for transmittal to the county board of elections office.

      There is a place on the Voter Registration Preference Form for an individual to mark showing a choice not to register at the Agency at that time but wishes to take a Voter Registration Application/Update Form to complete at a later date.

    c. If the individual is registered, but needs to update a name, address and/or party affiliation,
    the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should provide the Voter Registration Preference Form and then complete the Agency Voter Registration Application/Update Form to change any or all of the following: name, physical address, mailing address (if different), and party affiliation. If the individual is updating an address or a name, Section 8 of the Voter Registration Application/Update Form should be completed with the old information. Completing Section 8 should be in addition to all other sections of the Voter Registration Application/Update Form.

    Each time an individual moves and notifies the Agency of a change of address, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind are required to offer the opportunity to complete a change of address for voter registration.

    d. If the individual is already registered, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should provide a Voter Registration Preference Form so the individual can indicate s/he is already registered to vote at his/her current address. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind needs to inform the individual that the response on the Voter Registration Preference Form will not prohibit voter registration at a later date or changes to existing registration. In completing the Voter Registration Preference Form, make sure that the individual checks the box that indicates s/he is already registered to vote.

    e. If the individual is not registered and does not wish to register at this time, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind must ask the individual to fill out a Voter Registration Preference Form indicating s/he is registered to vote, and declined when offered the opportunity to complete the application to register, reassure the individual that applying to register to vote or declining to register to vote will have no effect on the services or benefits provided by the Agency.

    f. If the individual is not sure of his registration, the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should direct the individual to the appropriate county board of elections office or provide the telephone number. If the individual chooses to complete the Voter Registration Preference Form and the Voter Registration Application/Update Form, the individual may do so and the county board of elections will determine the individual's eligibility.

    g. North Carolina allows a 17 year old to register and vote in primaries if the person will be 18 years old by the general election. If you have a 17-year-old individual who meets this qualification and wishes to complete a Voter Registration Preference Form and Voter Registration Application/Update Form, s/he may do so. These forms should be sent to the county board of elections for processing.

    3. Agency Voter Registration Materials Transmittal Form

      The district office Site Coordinator should complete the Agency Voter Registration Material Transmittal Form by noting the total number of Voter Registration Application/Update Forms, and the total number of Voter Registration Preference Forms and mail in a sealed envelope within five (5) business days to the respective county boards of election offices.

If the individual contacts the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind by phone or e-mail for changes of address or name an Agency Voter Registration Application/Update Form and Voter Registration Preference Form should be mailed to the individual. The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Independent Living Rehabilitation Counselor, and Social Worker for the Blind should sign a preference form and indicate that a voter registration form was mailed to the applicant.

It is not necessary to offer Voter Registration to: non-US citizens, non-North Carolina residents, current prisoners, felony parolees unless the Governor has restored voting rights, anyone with a court order of mental incompetence still in effect, or anyone accompanying the applicant.

Agency Staff should refrain from displaying campaign bumper stickers, wearing campaign or party buttons or pins, etc., while conducting voter registration business.

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  For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact the local district office.


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