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League of Women Voters

Voting In North Carolina

At a glance:

Voting Alert

Registration Deadline

The registration deadline for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election is Friday, October 14, 2016.

Voter registration forms must be either postmarked or delivered in person by 5 pm 25 days before Election Day.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application.

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Friday, October 14, 2016
By Mail:
Postmarked by Friday, October 14, 2016
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 (General Election)
State Board of Elections
506 North Harrington Street
PO Box 27255
Raleigh, NC 27611-7255
Phone:
919-733-7173
Fax:
919-715-0315

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in North Carolina, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • A resident of North Carolina
  • Be at least  17 years old and 18 years old by the next General Election.
  • Have your rights of citizenship restored if you were a convicted felon

Note: 17 year olds may register and vote in a primary election as long as they turn 18 by the General Election. You cannot register to vote earlier than 60 days before the primary election. Special ballots are given to 17 year olds at their polling place that excludes any races they are not able to vote on.

 

ID Needed for Voter Registration

To register, you must complete and sign a voter registration application. To complete the form, you must provide your full name, residential address, date of birth and citizenship status. Once completed, you must mail the form to the board of elections in your county. The board of elections will then send you a voter registration card.

ID Needed for Voting?

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 bill in your name at your address or even the vouching of your ID by a poll official.

Registration Deadline

The registration deadline for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election is Friday, October 14, 2016.

Voter registration forms must be either postmarked or delivered in person by 5 pm 25 days before Election Day.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please use your state's voter verification tool.

For further information, please contact your elections office or board of elections for your county, city or state.

Absentee Ballot Process

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

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

Early voting for the Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election begins on Thursday, October 20 and ends on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Use your state's resource to find the early voting locations.

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.

 

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 8, 2016 (General). The registration deadline is Friday, October 14, 2016.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in North Carolina:

  • You must be registered to vote in North Carolina
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • Political affiliation generally required
  • You must be a resident of state and precinct for 30 days prior to the election
  • You must complete required training, exam and certification
  • Students 17 years of age with county residency may be appointed if they are enrolled in high school and have consent from a parent

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

The polling place will be open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. North Carolina state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource. If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

You may be asked to vote a provisional ballot if:

  • your qualification to vote is questioned
  • your voter eligibility is questioned
  • your eligibility to vote a specific ballot is questioned

If you are asked to vote a provisional ballot, that ballot will be held aside until you can prove your eligibility to vote.

Examples of reasons for provisional voting:

  • There's no record of your registration
  • You moved to a different precinct and didn't report the change before 30 days before the election
  • You were previously registered in the county but the registration was canceled
  • Your address can't be verified in the lookup files
  • You're trying to vote at the incorrect precinct
  • During a primary election, you try to vote the other parties ballot
  • The records indicate you already voted in this election
  • Voting during extended hours on Election Day

Once you vote your provisional ballot you will receive a PIN number in order to check the status of your ballot. You can begin checking the status of your ballot 10 days after the election.

Voting Machines

The voting systems used in North Carolina are optical scan, DRE, and hand-counted paper ballots.

Optical Scanning: With this system, you will recieve a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. In some places, you can check your card or paper right there at the polling place by feeding it into a card-reading machine to make sure you have voted the way you want to. When you are finished filling out all the cards. You may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that counts the votes. When Election Day is over, the computer counts how many votes were cast for each candidate.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) : This is the newest kind of system in use in the US. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen, like a TV or computer screen. The poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session. These devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these bigscreen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to votefor (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Some of these machinese have a key pad, and/ or have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for. You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad. The votes are stored on a computer device like a disk or a cartridge. At the end of the day, results from the disk or cartridge can be printed and read at the polling place or transferred to a central location.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used on Election Day. Paper ballots are mostly used for absentee ballots. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box. At the end of the day, votes are counted by poll workers reading the ballots.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Voting assistance, curbside voting, and reassignment of polling place are offered to disabled voters.

REASSIGNMENT OF POLLING PLACE

If a disabled voter does not wish to vote curbside, and the polling place is not sufficiently equipped to allow comfortable or adequate entrance to the building, there is another option. Satellite voting places: A county board of elections may, upon approval of a request submitted in writing to the State Board of Elections, establish a plan whereby elderly or disabled voters in a precinct may vote at designated sites within the precinct other than the regular voting place for that precinct. The State Board of Elections shall approve a county board's proposed plan if:

1. All the satellite voting places to be used are listed in the county's written request; 

2. The plan will in the State Board's judgment overcome a barrier to voting by the elderly or disabled persons;

3. Adequate security against fraud is provided for; and

4. The plan does not unfairly favor or disfavor voters with regard to race or party affiliation.

CURBSIDE VOTING

Aged and disabled persons allowed to vote outside voting enclosure. In any primary or election any qualified voter who is able to travel to the voting place, but because of age, or physical disability and physical barriers encountered at the voting place is unable to enter the voting place or enclosure to vote in person without physical assistance, shall be allowed to vote either in the vehicle conveying such person to the voting place or in the immediate proximity of the voting place.

VOTING ASSISTANCE

Assistance to voters in primaries and general elections. In a primary or general election, a registered voter qualified to vote in the primary or general election shall be entitled to assistance in getting to and from the voting booth and in preparing his ballots in accordance with the following rules:

1. Any voter shall be entitled to assistance from a near relative of his [her] choice.

2. Any voter in any of the following four categories shall be entitled to assistance from a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union:

-One who, on account of physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without assistance;

-One who, on account of physical disability, is unable to mark his ballots without assistance;

-One who, on account of illiteracy, is unable to mark his ballots without assistance;

-One who, on account of blindness, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark his ballots without assistance.

Please visit your state's resource for additional information. You can also utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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