Return to News Oct 03, 2023

North Carolina Retiree Group Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging Durational Residency Requirement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 2, Elias Law Group attorneys representing the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans filed a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s pre-election durational residency requirement, which requires voters to reside in the state for at least 30 days before election day. The durational residency requirement prevents otherwise eligible voters from participating in North Carolina’s same-day voter registration process, which is offered within 20 days of Election Day and up until the Saturday before Election Day.   

“The Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution are clear: voters must not be denied their fundamental right to vote just because they move between states shortly before election day, if they are otherwise eligible,” said Elias Law Group partner David Fox. “Yet North Carolina’s durational residency requirement disenfranchises voters who recently moved to the state, even if they would otherwise be able to register and vote using same-day registration. This requirement deprives newly relocated voters, including new members of the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans, of their fundamental right to vote. We are proud to represent the Alliance in this case, and we look forward to demonstrating that North Carolina’s pre-election durational residency requirement is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.”  

“The Voting Rights Act prohibits states from preventing otherwise eligible voters from voting for President and Vice President based on how long they have resided in the state before election day. And the U.S. Constitution prohibits such requirements in all elections. […] North Carolina law violates these federal protections by imposing a preelection durational residency requirement that is longer than the registration deadline, and that therefore prevents voters who could otherwise lawfully register and cast ballots from doing so just because they moved into the state too recently. This requirement applies an arbitrary residency requirement to deny voters their right to participate in elections in their new domicile,” the complaint alleges.  

The North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans is the chartered state affiliate of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a nationwide grassroots organization with more than 4.3 million members. The mission of the Alliance and its nationwide affiliate is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for retirees, with particular emphasis on safeguarding their right to vote. The Alliance has approximately 52,000 members across North Carolina. 
Read the full lawsuit here.