163-230.2. Method of requesting absentee ballots.

(a) Valid Types of Written Requests. - A completed written request form for absentee ballots as required by G.S. 163-230.1 is valid only if it is on a form created by the State Board and signed by the voter requesting absentee ballots or that voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian. The State Board shall make the blank request form available at its offices, online, and in each county board of elections office, and that blank request form may be reproduced. A voter may call the State Board of Elections or a county board of elections office and request that the blank request form be sent to the voter by mail, e-mail, or fax. The request form created by the State Board shall require at least the following information:

(1) The name and address of the residence of the voter.

(2) The name and address of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request.

(3) The address of the voter to which the application and absentee ballots are to be mailed if different from the residence address of the voter.

(4) One of the following:

a. The number of the applicant's North Carolina drivers license issued under Article 2 of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, including a learner's permit or a provisional license.

b. The number of the applicant's special identification card for nonoperators issued under G.S. 20-37.7.

c. The last four digits of the applicant's social security number.

(5) The voter's date of birth.

(6) The signature of the voter or of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request.

(7) A clear indicator of the date the election generating the request is to be held, except for annual calendar year requests in accordance with G.S. 163-226(b).

(b) Request to Update Voter Registration. - A completed request form for absentee ballots shall be deemed a request to update the official record of voter registration for that voter and shall be confirmed in writing in accordance with G.S. 163-82.14(d).

(c) Return of Request. - The completed request form for absentee ballots shall be delivered to the county board of elections only by any of the following:

(1) The voter.

(2) The voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian.

(3) A member of a multipartisan team trained and authorized by the county board of elections pursuant to G.S. 163-226.3.

(d) Confirmation of Voter Registration. - Upon receiving a completed request form for absentee ballots, the county board shall confirm that voter's registration. If that voter is confirmed as a registered voter of the county, the absentee ballots and certification form shall be mailed to the voter, unless personally delivered in accordance with G.S. 163-230.1(b). If the voter's official record of voter registration conflicts with the completed request form for absentee ballots or cannot be confirmed, the voter shall be so notified. If the county board cannot resolve the differences, no application or absentee ballots shall be issued.

(e) Invalid Types of Written Requests. - If a county board of elections receives a request for absentee ballots that does not comply with this subsection or subsection (a) of this section, the board shall not issue an application and ballots under G.S. 163-230.1. A request for absentee ballots is not valid if any of the following apply:

(1) The completed written request is not on a form created by the State Board.

(2) The completed written request is completed, partially or in whole, or signed by anyone other than the voter, or the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian. A member of a multipartisan team trained and authorized by the county board of elections pursuant to G.S. 163-226.3 may assist in completion of the request.

(3) The written request does not contain all of the information required by subsection (a) of this section.

(4) The completed written request is returned to the county board by someone other than a person listed in subsection (c) of this section, the United States Postal Service, or a designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7502(f)(2).

(e1) Assistance by Others. - If a voter is in need of assistance completing the written request form due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write and there is not a near relative or legal guardian available to assist that voter, the voter may request some other person to give assistance, notwithstanding any other provision of this section. If another person gives assistance in completing the written request form, that person's name and address shall be disclosed on the written request form in addition to the information listed in subsection (a) of this section.

(f) Rules by State Board. - The State Board shall adopt rules for the enforcement of this section. (2002-159, s. 57(a); 2013-381, s. 4.3; 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-144, s. 1.2(e); 2018-146, s. 3.1(a), (b); 2019-239, s. 1.3(a); 2020-17, s. 5.)