North Carolina Voting Requirements & Information

U.S. Vote Foundation’s North Carolina Voting Requirements and Information directory informs you of North Carolina voting rules and options. It focuses on North Carolina-specific voting guidelines and information for all voters, including domestic, overseas, and military voters. Here you can find out about North Carolina voter eligibility, voter ID requirements, registration, absentee and early voting options, ways to transmit voting documents and links to specific-North Carolina voting tools. It's an all-in-one North Carolina voting resource.

Upcoming Election Dates & Deadlines

North Carolina Federal and State Elections

Tue Mar 5, 2024 - North Carolina Presidential Primary

Voter Registration Deadline

  • Email, Online or Fax by

    Contact Local Election Office to confirm dates when voter registration by electronic submission will be accepted.


    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • In-Person Request by

    Contact Local Election Office to confirm dates when in-person voter registration is available.


    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • Postmarked by
    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • Election Day Registration & Voting
    Tue Mar 5, 2024

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

  • Received by
    Tue Feb 27, 2024
  • Emergency Ballot Period
    From Tue Feb 27, 2024 to Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Return Deadline

  • In-Person, Received by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024 5:00PM EST
  • Post Received by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024 7:30PM EST

Early Voting Available

In-person Absentee Voting
From Thu Feb 15, 2024 to Sat Mar 2, 2024

Tue Mar 5, 2024 - North Carolina State Primary

Voter Registration Deadline

  • Email, Online or Fax by

    Contact Local Election Office to confirm dates when voter registration by electronic submission will be accepted.


    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • In-Person Request by

    Contact Local Election Office to confirm dates when in-person voter registration is available.


    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • Postmarked by
    Fri Feb 9, 2024
  • Election Day Registration & Voting
    Tue Mar 5, 2024

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

  • Received by
    Tue Feb 27, 2024
  • Emergency Ballot Period
    From Tue Feb 27, 2024 to Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Return Deadline

  • Post Received by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024 5:00PM EST
  • In-Person, Received by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024 7:30PM EST

Early Voting Available

In-person Absentee Voting
From Thu Feb 15, 2024 to Sat Mar 2, 2024

General Information

Registration

You can register to vote or update your registration information:

  • by mail
  • in person at your elections office
  • on-line
  • by fax
  • through the NC Division of Motor Vehicles
  • at some public assistance offices

You must have resided in your county at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote. When you check in to vote at an early voting site, you may update your name or address within the same county if necessary. You may also fax or email to update your name, address, or party affiliation.

If you are not registered, you will need to provide an original, wet-ink signature on your application. However, new registrants are not required to provide an original, wet-ink signature if they register on-line through the Division of Motor Vehicles. New registrants can also do same-day registration and voting during the In-Person Early Voting period.

You can check your registration status through [North Carolina's Voter Search Tool] (https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/).

Election Day Voting

Polling places are open from 630am to 730pm on Election Day.

Find my polling place

Early Voting

Through one-stop absentee voting (in-person absentee voting, or early voting) voters may go to their county board of elections office (or an alternative location) to vote with an absentee ballot.

One-stop absentee voting is conducted from the second Thursday before the election and until 1pm on the last Saturday before Election Day.

Absentee Voting

Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Be sure to use new applications as expired forms from previous election years will not be accepted.

A notary public or two witnesses must observe you marking your ballot (but not how you vote). Place the completed ballot in the envelope provided to return it to your county board of elections.

You, a near relative, or a legal guardian may return your ballot. You can return the ballot in person or by mail. You will need a postage stamp to mail your ballot.

Please visit the US Vote Disability Voting Guide to see accommodations for the registration and voting process.

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to vote in North Carolina if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day
  • Are a resident of North Carolina
  • Live in the precinct where you vote for at least 30 days prior to the election

You are NOT eligible to vote in North Carolina if:

  • You were disqualified from voting due to a court order
  • You are currently serving a sentence including incarceration, parole, probation, or extended supervision for a felony conviction

Restorative Requirements

  • If you have completed a felony prison sentence, even if you are still on parole or probation, then you are immediately eligible to register to vote.

You are able to pre-register:

  • At the age of 17
  • At the age 16

17-year-olds may vote in a primary election if they will be 18 at the time of the general election

If you are a student, you are eligible to vote in North Carolina if:

  • You reside in North Carolina but are attending college in another state
  • You reside in another state but attend college in North Carolina

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in North Carolina you should provide:

  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your North Carolina Driver's License or State non-driver ID Number
  • Your North Carolina Voter Registration Number (if known)

If you do not have any of these IDs, you can provide a copy of one of the following with your registration application:

  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Utility Bill
  • Government Check
  • Bank Statement
  • Paycheck that Shows your Current Name and Address

You can alternatively provide one of these documents when you vote to complete your registration.

Voting In-Person

In-person voters will be asked to show any of the following when they check in to vote.

  • Valid North Carolina Driver's License
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid North Carolina non-driver's ID
  • Student ID approved by North Carolina; unexpired or expired for less than 1 year
  • Valid North Carolina Voter Photo ID card, issued by board of elections
  • Valid charter school employee ID approved by North Carolina
  • Valid state/local government employee ID approved by North Carolina
  • Military or veteran ID card issued by U.S. government
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by a state or federally recognized tribe
  • Public Assistance ID

See https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voter-id for voter ID requirements

Voters who vote by mail must include a photocopy of an acceptable ID inside the “photo ID envelope” that comes with their ballot. Any of the following that is unexpired, or expired for one year or less:

  • Student ID approved by North Carolina; unexpired or expired for less than 1 year
  • Valid North Carolina non-driver's ID
  • Valid North Carolina Driver's License
  • Valid charter school employee ID approved by North Carolina
  • Out of State Driver's License or Non-driver ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid North Carolina Voter Photo ID card, issued by board of elections

Voters who vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID inside the photo ID envelope that comes with their ballot. If they are unable to include a photocopy of their ID, they may complete an ID Exception Form with the absentee ballot return envelope.

Witness / Notarization Requirements

An absentee ballot must include ONLY ONE the following in order to be counted:

  • Two Witness Signatures: Witnesses Must Be At Least 18 Years Old
  • Notarization

Exceptions apply for voters with disabilities. Any person may help request or return a ballot for disabled voters. Disabled voters can receive assistance filling out their ballots by a helper who is at least 18 years old. For voters in a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or adult care home ONLY: a candidate may witness your ballot if you requested their assistance due to a disability. Please contact your local election official with questions.

Voter Materials Transmission Options

Domestic Voter

In-Person

Mail

Fax

Email

Online

Voter Registration
Absentee Ballot Request
Blank Ballot To Voter
Voted-Absentee Ballot Return

State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered?

State Elections Website

Can I View my Sample Ballot?

Where is my Polling Place?

Where is my Ballot?

Where are my Early Voting Locations?

Upcoming Election Dates & Deadlines

North Carolina Federal and State Elections

Tue Mar 5, 2024 - North Carolina Presidential Primary

Voter Registration Deadline

Received by
Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

Received by
Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Return Deadline

  • Email or Fax by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024
  • Postmarked by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024

Tue Mar 5, 2024 - North Carolina State Primary

Voter Registration Deadline

Received by
Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Request Deadline

Received by
Mon Mar 4, 2024

Absentee Ballot Return Deadline

  • Email or Fax by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024
  • Postmarked by
    Tue Mar 5, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

Overseas Voters

U.S. citizens living abroad have the right to vote as absentee voters, provided they are eligible to vote in their state. If you are living outside of the U.S. permanently, indefinitely, or temporarily, your voting rights stay with you, even if you never voted when you lived in the U.S. To vote from overseas:

  • Complete and send an overseas voter registration/ballot request form to your election office in the U.S. This is one specific form that will register you as an overseas voter and request your absentee ballot – simultaneously.

Many states allow children who were born overseas, but never lived in the U.S., to use their U.S. parents’ last residence address to register.

Military Voters

Service members and their eligible family members living outside their voting jurisdiction (within or outside the U.S.) are able to vote as absentee voters.

  • If you are a service member, or an eligible family member, there is a single form to file for both voter registration and ballot request. It is often called the “Federal Post Card Application” or the FPCA form. This form must be re-filed with your election office each time you change location.

To vote as a service member or eligible family member:

  • Complete and send a voter registration/ballot request form “FPCA” to your election office in the U.S. It is the same form in all states.

Identification Requirements

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID

Photo ID is not required for military or overseas voters who vote using special absentee voting procedures that federal law makes available for such voters

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the federal voter registration/ballot request form ("FPCA"). You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID

Photo ID is not required for military or overseas voters who vote using special absentee voting procedures that federal law makes available for such voters

Voter Materials Transmission Options

Overseas Voter

In-Person

Mail

Fax

Email

Online

Voter Registration
Absentee Ballot Request
Blank Ballot To Voter
Voted-Absentee Ballot Return

Military Voter

In-Person

Mail

Fax

Email

Online

Voter Registration
Absentee Ballot Request
Blank Ballot To Voter
Voted-Absentee Ballot Return

State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered?

State Elections Website

Can I View my Sample Ballot?

Where is my Polling Place?

Where is my Ballot?

Where are my Early Voting Locations?