League of Women Voters

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ID Needed for Voting?

North Carolina

Identification is required of first-time voters who register by mail and do not provide proof of identification with their application. If you have voted in previous elections, or registered in person, no ID is needed to vote.

If you do need to show ID at the polls, acceptable forms include any of the following with your name and current address:

  • North Carolina driver license
  • Other photo ID issued by a government agency.
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document
  • A current college/universiy photo ID card paired with a proof of campus habitation

Absentee Ballot Process

North Carolina

No excuses are needed to request a mail-in absentee ballot.

To receive a mail-in ballot you must complete the State Absentee Ballot Request form. A signed copy of this form must be received by the county board of elections no later than 5pm on the last Tuesday before the election. You can mail, fax, email or hand deliver the form to the county board of elections. Find your county board of elections contact information here.

When completing the State Absentee Ballot Request Form you must provide your name, address, birthdate, and an identification number (like your North Carolina driver license number, your North Carolina DMV identification card or the last four digits of your social security number). If you do not provide an identification number you must send one of the below in along with your form:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID
  • A copy of one of the following documents that shows your name and address: current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.

A person other than the voter (a near relative or legal guardian) may fill out the State Absentee Ballot Request form. A near relative is either your spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent or stepchild.

Once you receive your ballot, you may vote the ballot in the presence of two witnesses (or one witness if the witness is a notary-public). Once voted, you must seal the ballot in the return envelope and complete the information on the back of the return envelope. The witnesses must complete and sign the envelope in the space assigned to them. If someone assists the voter, they must sign and date the certificate as well.

The voted ballot must be returned no later than 5pm on the night of the election. You may mail or hand deliver the envelope to the board of elections' office. If the ballot is received after 5pm it will only be counted if they are received by mail and have a postmark that is dated on or before the day of the election and they are received by 5pm three days following the election.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

North Carolina

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

North Carolina

One-stop absentee voting (early voting) begins on the third Thursday before the election and ends at 1pm the last Saturday before the election. One-stop absentee voting takes place at either the County Board of Elections office or an alternate site if the County Board office is not able to handle in-person voting.

If you are not registered by the registration deadline, you may register during the one-stop early voting period and vote that same day. In order to register during the one-stop early voting period, you must show proof of address. This can include a valid and current photo ID or any document showing your  name and current address.

For specific locations of where you can vote, please contact your county board of elections.

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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)


Donations to the LWVEF, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax-deductible. The LWVEF tax id number is 53-0239013.