Information required by Board of Elections: Legal Name, E-mail Address, and Phone Number
Volunteer Election Observers
Parties, candidates, citizen groups or independent organizations can deploy observers to witness the electoral process, both to learn from and improve the process. Observers are trained to attentively watch without interfering. They examine not only Election Day activities, such as the casting of ballots, but also pre-election and post-election processes. Observer may watch such activities as voter registration, testing of voting machines, ballot tabulation and recounts, and much more. They gather relevant information about the electoral process and can report back to election officials when problems arise.
North Carolina Election Observer activities:
Pre-election day processes
- Voting equipment testing is open to the public (N.C.G.S. § 163-165.7; 08 NCAC 04 .0307).
- During the time allowed for voting, only election officials, partisan observers, runners, voters, those authorized to provide assistance, and minor children, are allowed in the voting enclosure. (N.C.G.S. §163-166.3).
- Partisan observers that are appointed by the county political party are permitted and must be registered voters of the county in which they observe. Additionally, the State political parties can each designate 100 at-large observers who are North Carolina registered voters, and they can observe any voting place in the State. No more than two county observers and one at-large observer from the same political party are permitted in the voting enclosure at any time. (N.C.S.G.S. § 163-45).
- Partisan observers may also be present at early voting locations, which is called one-stop voting in North Carolina (N.C.S.G.A § 163-227.6).
Absentee ballot processing and counting
- Absentee ballot counting is open to the public (N.C.S.G.S. § 163-234). Note: counting can take place at the absentee meetings under G.S. 163-230.1(f) but cannot be tabulated and results reported until Election Day. In some counties, these meetings may only be accessible to the public via live video stream due to COVID-19.
- Procedures for closing the polling place is open to public inspection. This includes the return and accounting of all ballots, the certification of ballots by officials of more than one political party, the delivery of registration documents to the county board of elections, and the return to the county board of all issued equipment (N.C.S.G. § 163-166.10). See also 08 NCAC 10B .0105.
- The vote count is open to the public (N.C.S.G. § 163-182.2(3)).
- Recounts provide opportunities for public observation (N.C.S.G. § 163-182.7).