Understanding the Upcoming Voter Purge in North Carolina
Accurate voter roll maintenance—removing people who move, pass away, or otherwise become ineligible to vote— is an important part of ensuring election integrity.
However, in recent years, discriminatory and partisan voter roll maintenance has caused voter disenfranchisement across the country.
In North Carolina, Black and young voters have been placed on Inactive status and removed from voter rolls at the highest rates (up to twice the rate of other demographic groups).
Selective voter maintenance disproportionately impacts:
younger voters (especially those who rent and have new mailing addresses)
other racial and ethnic minority voters,
But voters can quickly and easily correct their status by confirming their address online with the NC Secretary of State.
How Voter Purges Affect NC Voters?
Voters can be placed on Inactive list and removed from the rolls for many reasons.
In 2021, during the last list maintenance cycle, over 391,000 North Carolina voters were removed from the rolls. In 2019, over 576,000 were removed. And over 400,000 registered NC voters have already been removed or put on notice of removal this year.
Black registered voters were more likely to be removed than other demographic groups.
Multiracial voters, Indigenous voters, and Hispanic voters were also over-represented in the removals.
Younger adults were particularly impacted by 2021 voter roll removals: while voters aged 26-40 represent only a quarter of North Carolina voters, they represented nearly half (46%) of voters removed from the rolls in 2021.
This year, more than 400,000 North Carolina voters could be removed for the voter rolls. But voters can also easily protect themselves from being improperly removed if they check their status and confirm their mailing address before the election.
Why Does This Matter?
North Carolina does not have same-day voter registration on Election Day, meaning that if someone is unknowingly removed from the polls during the biannual list maintenance cycle, they could lose their ability to vote in the next election.
Every eligible North Carolina voter—no matter their race, geographic location, or socioeconomic status—must have their vote counted if we want to maintain secure and democratic elections.