Election season is upon us. Here is everything you need to know to cast your ballot and make your voice heard.
Where is my polling place?
If you are voting on Election Day, put your first and last name into the North Carolina Voter Search tool and click into your profile to find your “Election Day Polling Place.” On Election Day, this is the only location where you will be allowed to vote.
Early voting for the 2020 general election is from Oct. 15 to Oct. 31.
Election Day is Nov. 3.
How do I register to vote?
If you want to vote, you must be registered to vote 25 days before the date of the election. You can also register to vote at a one-stop early voting site during the early voting period.
In North Carolina, you must register to vote using the voter registration application. Click the button below for the voter registration application.
The application asks for your full name, your home address, your date of birth and your citizenship status. You must sign the application with a pen (no electronic signatures!). Make sure you fill out the whole thing.
Once completed, mail it to the Board of Elections office in your county.
When the Board of Elections approves your application, they will mail your voter registration card to the address you provided. You should get it in 1 to 2 weeks. If you don’t get it, call your local Board of Elections office.
This mail won’t be forwarded to a different address. This is why it’s so important to register with your correct home address.
You can look up your registration status online using this handy Voter Search tool from the State Board of Elections.
What qualifications do I need to meet to vote?
On Election Day, you:
- Must be a citizen of the United States.
- Must live in the county where you are registered to vote for at least 30 days before Election Day.
- Must be at least 18 years old for a general election.
- You can submit a registration form up to two years before your 18th birthday if you will be 18 by the time of the next general election.
- 17-year-olds can vote in a primary election if they will be 18 in time for the general election.
- Must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or parole). If a prospective voter has previously been convicted of a felony, his/her citizenship rights must be restored. Visit the NC State Board of Elections website for more information on voting rights for people in the North Carolina criminal justice system.
Do I need a photo ID to vote during the November 3 general election?
No. While North Carolina voters did vote in favor of a state constitutional amendment to require a photo ID, that amendment was blocked by a federal district court. This block will stay in place until the court says something different.
How do I request an absentee mail-in ballot?
Print out this absentee ballot request form and mail it to your local Board of Elections. The board must receive your request form by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27. North Carolina does not send unsolicited absentee ballots to voters.
In North Carolina, no special circumstances are required to cast your voting using an absentee ballot.
You can request your absentee ballot for the general election anytime until the deadline. Your county board of elections must receive your request by 5 p.m. on Oct. 27. If you are mailing your request, the board of elections asks that you include enough time for your request to arrive before the deadline.
Active-duty military, U.S. citizens who are overseas on Election Day and family members of active-duty military and overseas U.S. citizens can vote through special absentee ballot options.
I have requested my absentee ballot. Now what?
The board of elections will begin mailing out absentee ballots on Sept. 4. If you do not receive your ballot within a week of Sept. 4, contact your local board of elections office.
You can return your ballot in person at your county board of elections office, in person at an open early voting site in your county, by mail or by commercial courier service such as DHL, FedEx or UPS.
Your absentee ballot must be in the container-return envelope and arrive at the county board of elections office no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day. Postmarked absentee ballots will still be accepted if they arrive no later that 5 p.m. Nov. 6. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Election Day.
What voting district am I in?
The North Carolina General Assembly offers a Find Your Legislators tool to help you find your current district and your district for the 2020 elections for U.S. Congress, the North Carolina House and the North Carolina Senate.
North Carolina recently went through a redistricting process so you may notice some changes.
Who is up for election?
From candidates for U.S. president to local school board, you can find the full list of candidates running for office on this primary candidate guide.
If you’re interested in becoming an election worker for 2020, let the State Board of Elections know.
Voting during the pandemic
For more information about voting during the coronavirus pandemic, visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.