North Carolina

Upcoming Election Dates & Registration Deadlines

Some elections in this list are local and do not apply for all North Carolina voters. Please click the “View all” button below to view all election dates in your state.

Next Election: Municipal
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Various Municipalities

Not all municipalities within the state have elections on these dates. Please get in touch with your local elections official for more information on elections happening in your area. 

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Registration Deadlines

Friday, September 15, 2023
By Mail (postmarked)
Friday, September 15, 2023
In Person
Friday, September 15, 2023


Tuesday, November 7, 2023
General Municipal Elections

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North Carolina Voting Information

Absentee Ballot Process

Mail-in absentee voting is available in NC and no excuse is required for registered voters. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 7 days before the election. Your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day in order to be counted. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Election Day. You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on your State Board of Elections website. 

There are two ways to access and submit the official North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request form:

  1. Online with “Option 1 – Request an Absentee Ballot” at the N.C. Absentee Ballot Portal.
  2. On paper with the 2023 N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form in English (fillable PDF) - After completing, submit the form to your county board of elections or in person or by mail via the US Postal Service, DHL, FedEx, or UPS.

Voting by mail in North Carolina takes three simple steps — requesting, completing, and returning a ballot. Find more information at Detailed Instructions to Vote By Mail.

Voting and Returning your Mailed-In Absentee Ballot:

Once you receive your ballot, you must 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 5 p.m. on the night of the election, or postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. three days after the election.

  • The Voter can return their mailed ballot to their county board of elections office or to a one-stop early voting site in their county.
  • If returning to the county board of elections office on Election Day, it must be received by 5 p.m.
  • The Voter may not return their mailed ballot to a polling place on Election Day.

ID Requirements

NOTE: Voters who vote by mail must include a photocopy of an acceptable ID. Or they may complete a Photo ID Exception Form with the absentee ballot return envelope. Instructions will be included in the absentee ballot packet. For more information, including acceptable types of photo ID, see Voter ID.

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.

Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person: Requesting an absentee ballot will not record you in the system as having voted. If you do not vote your absentee ballot, you may vote in person during the early voting period or on Election Day. You may simply discard your absentee ballot. There is no need to bring it with you to a polling place.

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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.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

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


Drop Boxes

No drop boxes available. You can return your voted ballot to your county board of elections office or an open Early Voting site during the Early Voting period. You can find the location of your county board of elections office here. 

Early Voting

Early voting for the November 7, 2023 election begins October 19 and ends November 4.

One-stop early voting begins on the third Thursday before the election and ends at 3pm 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 your County Board office is not able to handle in-person voting.

For specific locations of where you can vote, please click here.

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.



Election Dates

The next election date can be found here.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote, you must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Live in the county where you are registering, and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
    • The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain voters who are active duty military or their families as well as U.S. citizens abroad special rights that provide an expedited means to register and vote by mail-in ballot. Find more information on Military and Overseas Voting.
  • Be at least 18 years old, or will be by the date of the general election.

Note: An inactive voter is still a registered voter. A voter who is inactive status will be asked to confirm their addresses when they appear to vote. No special document is required.

Incarcerated Voters & Returning Citizens: 

Once a person is convicted of a felony, they lose the right to vote in North Carolina until they have completed their sentence. This includes any period of probation, post-release supervision, or parole associated with a felony sentence. Once their period of supervision is over, a person automatically regains the right to vote in the state even if they have remaining debts associated with their sentence.  Voting rights are not restricted by pretrial detention and misdemeanors in North Carolina. 

Voters without traditional residence: 

If you do not have a traditional address, you can draw a picture in the space provided on the voter registration form of your usual sleeping location. Be descriptive and note any nearby streets or physical buildings.  You must provide a mailing address if you do not receive mail at your residential address. The mailing address on their registration form can be a P.O. box, local shelter, advocacy organization, outreach center, or the home of someone who will accept mail for you. 


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. If you register to vote at your polling location during the one-stop early voting period (ends the Saturday before the election). To register during early voting you must prove your eligibility and provide proof of residence.

You must show a current name and address ID such as:

  • North Carolina driver's license
  • Other photo ID issued by a government agency
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter's name and address
  • Current college/university photo ID card paired with a current roster prepaired by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.

Any other type of government-issued photo ID is acceptable as long as the card has your current name and current address. The ID may be expired, but the name and address must be current.

ID Needed for Voting

Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the 2023 municipal elections. Those elections occur in September, October, and November, depending on your town or city. 

For more information, see Voter ID and FAQ: Voter ID. In addition to the list of acceptable Photo IDs for voting, there are important links for information on where to get a No-fee ID Card.

Remember, the address on the photo ID does not have to match the voter registration records.

Suppose you do not show an acceptable ID at the polls. In that case, you may proceed in one of the two following ways: 

  • with an ID Exception Form and a provisional ballot or 
  • with a provisional ballot and return it to your county board of elections office with your photo ID by the day before county canvass.

Watch: Click here to learn about the new voter photo ID requirement in all upcoming elections.

Official Results

Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted. 

Absentee ballots begin being counted 5 weeks before Election Day during public meetings.

Official election results will be uploaded on North Carolina’s State Board of Elections website as they become available. 


Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent 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.

Poll Worker Information

You can make sure we have safe, fair, and efficient elections for all. Become a poll worker today!

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

On Election Day, polling places will be open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.

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.

Primary Election Process

North Carolina is a “partially closed” primary state. Each party has the ability to choose whether to allow unaffiliated voters or voters not registered with their party to participate in their primary. This year, unaffiliated voters may choose the ballot of any party that has a primary. This decision is made before the election cycle begins.

In a primary election if a candidate does not with 30% of the votes there will be a primary runoff election scheduled for a few weeks after the primary election date. The runoff election will have the top two candidates with the most votes to ensure that one of them receives the majority of the voters.

If you have any questions about your state’s primary election, please contact your local election officials.

Provisional Voting

You may vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific conditions.

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
  • You ask to vote for an election that is not in your assigned voting district
  • You do not show appropriate ID under HAVA

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.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Voting assistance and curbside voting are offered to voters with disabilities.


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.


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.

Registration Deadline

You may now register to vote online! If you are a DMV customer with a North Carolina driver's license or DMV-issued ID, you may now register to vote online.

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

Same-Day Registration during Early Voting:

You may register to vote at your polling location during the one-stop early voting period (ends Friday before the election). To register during early voting you must prove your eligibility and provide proof of residence. You must show a current name and address ID such as:

  • North Carolina driver's license
  • Other photo ID issued by a government agency
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter's name and address
  • Current college/university photo ID card paired with a current roster prepared by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.

Any other type of government-issued photo ID is acceptable as long as the card has your current name and current address. The ID may be expired, but the name and address must be current.

Same-Day Registration on Election Day:

Eligible would-be voters who become naturalized U.S. citizens or whose rights of citizenship are restored after serving a felony sentence ahead of Election Day, but after the regular voter registration deadline, may register and vote during early voting or on Election Day. 

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application and mail to your county Board of Elections. Or you can register during the Early Voting period.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer, there is no requirement for employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status

click here!
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.

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