FAQs about VOTING IN NORTH CAROLINA
There is an overwhelming amount of information, misinformation, and fear tactics circulating about voting. The following information hopefully clarifies the process so that you can vote in the way that makes sense for you!
Review the information and options below and make a voting plan.
- Photo ID is not required to vote in-person or absentee!
- In North Carolina, there is no difference between absentee voting and voting by mail.
- October 9: Voter Registration Deadline. (If you miss this deadline, you can still vote, see info below!)
- October 15: Early voting begins.
- October 31: Early voting ends.
- October 27: Absentee ballot request form deadline.
- November 3: Election Day, deadline to submit your absentee ballot. (If you put in the mail on Election Day, make sure to go to the post office and asked for it be postmarked – otherwise it may not be counted)
Voter Eligibility and Registration
If you are eligible to vote, you can vote in-person or by mail this election.
How do I know if I’m eligible to vote?
The Four Requirements to Register and Vote in North Carolina:
- S. citizenship.
- Be 18 years old by Election Day.
- Live at your North Carolina residence for at least 30 days before November 3, 2020.
- Not be currently serving a sentence or on parole or probation for a felony.
Ok, I’m eligible, but how do I know if I’m registered?
You can check here to see if you are registered at your current address.
What information do I need to register to vote?
To register to vote you’ll need to fill out a registration form. If you have a North Carolina DMV-issued photo ID or driver’s license, you can register online through the DMV website. Or, fill out this form and submit it to your county board of elections. If you miss the October 9 voter registration deadline, you can still register using same-day registration during the early vote period (see more info below!)
Can I still vote if I miss the voter registration deadline?
Voters who miss the regular voter registration deadline can still register during the early voting period, October 15-31, using same-day registration. You will be asked to provide one of the following forms of documentation (see list below):
To register using same-day registration, you need ONE of the following with your name and current address:
- A NC-issued photo ID.
- Other government photo ID with your name and current address.
- A utility bill from an electric, water, gas, phone, or cable company. (Digital version is ok!)
- A bank statement or bank-card statement (digital version is ok!).
- A paycheck or pay stub.
- Student photo ID with a school document confirming enrollment.
- Any license, registration, permit, invoice, check, letter, or any other document from a local, state, or federal government agency.
What if my address isn’t correct or if I’ve moved recently?
You can update your voter registration online through the NC DMV website and select “Submit Voter Registration Application.” To use this option you must have a NC driver’s license or DMV-issued ID card. If you don’t have either of these, you can download a registration form and mail it, or drop it off at your County Board of Elections. You can also update your address at any early voting site. Or, if you’ve moved within the same county, you can even update your address when you go vote in-person on Election Day.
Okay, my registration is up-to-date. How do I vote?
You have options! You can either vote in-person or by mail this election. Choose your own adventure!
I may want to vote in-person. How do I do it?
Great! You have two options:
- You can vote during the early vote period (October 15-October 31) at any early vote site in the county in which you are registered. For more information on early voting and finding a place to cast your ballot, click here.
NOTE: You might also hear early voting called “one-stop early voting” or “one-stop absentee voting.” These are the same thing!
If you miss the October 9th voter registration deadline and still need to register, you must vote in-person during the early vote period and use same-day registration.
- You can also vote in-person on election day (November 3) at your polling location.
NOTE: If you don’t want to vote early and use same-day registration, you must submit your registration by October 9 if you plan to vote on November 3, 2020.
Additionally, photo ID is NOT REQUIRED TO VOTE!
What about voting-by-mail. What if I want to vote that way?
You can! First of all, in North Carolina, vote-by-mail and absentee voting is the same thing.
If you want to vote-by-mail, you must be registered by October 9.
There are two steps to voting by mail in North Carolina: requesting an absentee ballot, and casting your absentee ballot.
How do I get an absentee ballot?
You fill out an absentee ballot request form! Absentee ballot request forms are due at 5:00pm by October 27, but registered voters should request them ASAP. For the 2020 election, you can email, fax, mail, or hand-deliver your absentee ballot request form to the county board of elections. (If you need assistance filling out the form due to disability or if you have trouble reading English, you can ask for help from anyone except your boss or union agent. If you need or want assistance for any other reason, only your near family or verified legal guardian may assist.)
NOTE: The State Board strongly recommends voters request a ballot as soon as possible to avoid problems due to postal delays and to allow for time to request any possible issues with your request.
Okay, what do I do after I’ve sent my request form? How do I vote by mail?
You wait to receive a ballot in the mail. Ballots will start being sent to NC voters on September 4. Once you receive your ballot, you will need one witness to sign your ballot after observing you mark your ballot. See more about witness requirement here. Then seal the ballot and complete the certificate on the ballot envelope – read all the small print carefully! Finally, you return your ballot to the county board of elections by 5:00pm on Election Day either by mail or hand-delivered.
If you have questions, check these websites for more information about voting.