North Carolina Elections

Get all the info you need

Your State

Voting Rights


Are Voter ID Laws Dead? That Depends.
09/29/16 |
Publication Date: 
Saturday, October 1, 2016 - 00:00

[A]fter eight years of litigation and study, the evidence of in-person voter fraud is still scant. The courts in Texas and North Carolina held that even if lawmakers were concerned about voter fraud, the laws they enacted were not tailored to fight it effectively. The courts ruled that the forms of ID lawmakers chose as acceptable weren’t necessarily the most secure kinds, and noted that legislators opted not to include other forms of state-issued identification, such as student or public assistance IDs, that were just as secure. ...

For now, though, it appears that people who turn up to the polls in North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas and many other voter ID states won’t be turned away if they don’t have an ID on them. They will be able to cast a provisional ballot or sign an affidavit attesting to who they are. This situation does not satisfy either side in the larger dispute, but at the moment it appears to be the national norm. That is, of course, until and unless the Supreme Court steps in.

ACLU files WI Voter ID brief re: DMV incompetence. Here's their statement of the case.
09/30/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2016 - 08:45

I.DMV Has Failed to Effectively Implement Its Own Procedures Throughout the Life of this Five-Year Litigation.

A.While the case was initiallybefore the district court, Defendants created an ad hocexemptions procedure that it implemented inconsistently and ineffectively (Dec. 2011 – Sept. 2014).

B.During the first appeal, Defendants passed an emergency rule creating the ID Petition Process (Sept. 2014 – March 2015).

C.Following remand and during the second appeal, Defendants implemented the IDPP inconsistently and ineffectively (March 2015 – May 2016).

D.Following a second remand, Defendants passed another emergency rule, followed by additional interpretive guidelines (May – July 2016).

E.In the decision below, the district court found that “some” voters will still be unable to obtain ID with reasonable effort notwithstanding the recent changes (July 19, 2016).

F.During this third appeal, Defendants claimed for the first time that everyone who goes to theDMV will get ID with whatever documents they have (Aug. 2016).

II.Many Wisconsin Voters Still Cannot Obtain Permanent ID With Whatever Documents They Have.

A.DMV denies ID to voters lacking proof of identity.

B.DMV can deny ID to voters whose documents contain misspellings or mismatches.

C.DMV will deny permanent ID to voters whose birth documentation cannot be found

D.DMV will not issue ID to voters who cannot reasonably get to a DMV office during limited business hours.

E.DMV routinely fails to effectively or consistently implement procedures related to voter ID.

F.The One Wisconsin Institute remedy will not help many voters in the above categories.

Here Are Your Candidates

Election Reminders

Don't miss any important deadlines.

You Rock!

We'll be in touch and see you at the polls!

OR TEXT "ROCK" TO 788683

Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to opt out or HELP for help. Expect 1 to 2 msgs/mo. Privacy Policy

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

North Carolina Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 14
  • Early Voting Dates: October 27 - November 5

For more information, visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Election Day: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Early voting hours are determined by the normal business hours of each polling location.  To check the days and operating hours of your early voting location, check the NC One Stop Voting Site List.

How to Find Your Polling Place

Visit the North Carolina Board of Elections Polling Place Locator web page.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines

2015 Primary  Election: Any dates for the primary will vary based on the municipality’s primary election date. Check with your local elections website for more information.

2015 Municipal General Election: October 9, 2015 

You must register to vote 25 days before an election.

Register to Vote

How to Check Your Registration Status

To verify your registration status, check the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

Eligibility Requirements to Register 

To register to vote in the 2015 Elections:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen;
  • You must be a resident of the North Carolina for at least 30 days prior to election day;
  • You must be at least 18 years old or will be 18 by Election Day. (For individuals who will not be 18 by this date, see pre-registration below); and
  • If you have been previously convicted of a felony, your citizenship rights must be restored (no longer serving sentence, including probation or parole).

You must rescind previous registrations in any other counties and/or states.

First Time Voters Who Register By Mail

If you are unable to provide a valid ID number, either a NC driver’s license number or a non-operators ID card number on your registration application, you must attach a copy of one of the following to your voter registration application OR bring it when you vote for the first time:

  • Your current valid photo ID;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A bank statement;
  • A paycheck or government check; or
  • Another government document that shows your name and address.

Where to Register

If you would like to register to vote in person, visit your county board of elections office.  You can look up the address of your county board of elections office here.

You can also register to vote at a location of the following agencies:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles; 
  • Departments of Social Services;
  • Departments of Public Health;
  • Vocational Rehabilitation offices;
  • Departments of Services for the Blind;
  • Departments of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing;
  • Departments of Mental Health Services; and
  • Employment Security Commission.

In addition, you can pick up a voter registration application at public libraries, high schools, and college admissions offices.

If You Want to Vote Early

North Carolina has "one-stop voting."  One-stop voting allows registered voters to vote early.

The one-stop voting period for November Municipal is not available yet. 

North Carolina voters are able to vote by one-stop at all county board of elections offices during regular office hours.  Some county boards of elections offer additional one-stop sites within the county.  To determine when your polling place will open for early voting, please visit the North Carolina One Stop Voting List.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

Any registered North Carolina voter can vote absentee by mail.

The county boards of elections will not mail or issue applications or ballots to the voter earlier than 60 days before a general election, 50 days before a statewide primary election, or 30 days before a municipal election.  Voters may, however, request an application more than 50 days before the election.  Absentee ballots are not available for in-person pick-up, so you must either request a ballot by mail, email or fax; deliver the Absentee Ballot Request form in person to the county board of elections office; or take advantage of one-stop voting in person (see above).

Requesting an Absentee Ballot

You can request an absentee ballot by sending or delivering a completed Absentee Ballot Request form to your county board of elections.  The form is available here.

A near relative or legal guardian can request the absentee ballot on your behalf if that person includes their own name, address, phone number, and relationship to you in the request.  “Near relative” includes a spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.

A ballot request must be received by 5:00 p.m the last Tuesday before Election Day.  It can be delivered in person, mailed, faxed, or scanned and emailed to your County Board of Elections.

For November Municipal, Abstentee Voting begins on October 2, 2015.

Returning a Completed Absentee Ballot 

If you decide to return your ballot in person, you must bring it to your County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on  Election Day. If you mail your completed ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received by the County Board of Elections no later than three days after the Election.

North Carolina requires voters to show an acceptable form of photo ID in order to vote with a regular ballot inside the polling place. However, there are ways to vote if you do not have the required form of ID (see below).  

The following is a list of acceptable photo ID:

  • NC Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit, or Provisional License, not expired by more than four years
  • Special ID card (NC DMV ID Card), not expired by more than four years
  • US Passport, unexpired
  • U.S. Military Identification card (including Active, Retired, Dependents, and Civilian)
  • U.S. Veterans Identification card issued by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Tribal Enrollment card issued by a federally-recognized tribe
  • Tribal Enrollment card issued by a NC-recognized tribe, signed by an elected tribal official, and compliant with G.S. § 163-166.13
  • Out-of-state-driver’s license or non-operator’s identification card (but only for 90 days after the voter registers to vote in North Carolina)
  • If you are 70 years of age or older, you may use any acceptable photo ID if it was unexpired on or after the voter’s 70th birthday.

If you do not have an acceptable form of photo ID, you have other options:

First, you may vote with an absentee ballot within a time limit. A request for an absentee ballot must be received by the county board of elections by 5 pm, seven days before Election Day.

Second, if you are unable to obtain an acceptable photo ID, you may vote a provisional ballot at the polls, which will count if you:

  • Sign a declaration form describing a “reasonable impediment” for why you do not have an acceptable photo ID; and
  • Provide your date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security number, or present your current voter registration card or a copy of an acceptable document bearing their name and address. (Acceptable documents include a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government-issued document.)

The declaration form is a sworn statement with 8 boxes for you to use to indicate one impediment to obtaining an acceptable ID that is true for you:

  • Lack of transportation
  • Work schedule
  • Disability or illness
  • Family responsibilities
  • Photo ID applied for but not received
  • Lack of birth certificate or other documents
  • Lost or stolen photo ID
  • Other (you may write in, for example, School schedule; or Can’t pay for the documents needed to get ID; or Passport is in another state; or Thought the ID I have would be acceptable)

The provisional ballot will be counted when your identification information is verified and all other eligibility requirements are met.

Third, if you have an acceptable ID and forget to bring it to the polls, you may complete a provisional ballot at the polls and bring the ID to the county board of elections by noon the day before canvass (7 days after Election Day).

If you are eligible to use curbside voting, you may show an acceptable photo ID or one of the alternative documents (utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or any government letter or document with their name and current address). You must then sign a declaration that you would need assistance to reach the voting room due to their age or physical disability.

Please visit for more about these options and to review the policies on whether the Photo ID must be current and unexpired, as well as to view other Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new Photo ID requirement.

North Carolina does not allow you to make changes to your voter registration online.  The North Carolina Voter Registration Application may be used to make any changes to your registration, including name, address, and party affiliation.  You may also send a written notice to your County Board of Elections instead of the Registration Application.  Such written notices must be signed in order to be valid.

Moving within the Same County

If you move within North Carolina, but within the same county, you should complete an in-county change of address.  This can be completed on your voter identification card, a signed letter to your local board of elections, or on the North Carolina Voter Registration Application.

Moving to a Different County

If you have moved to a different county in North Carolina, you must apply for voter registration in your new county of residence.  You may use the Voter Registration Application to do so.  If you move within the State, North Carolina law requires that you update the address on your driver's license within 60 days.  When you obtain your new driver’s license, you may update your voter registration information at the same time.  

Moving More than 30 Days Before an Election

If you have moved more than 30 days prior to the election, you will need to update your registration with your new address (or if applicable, register to vote in your new county of residence) no later than 25 days prior to the election.  You will then be registered and may possibly have a new polling location. On election day, if you failed to update your voter registration, you may still vote at your new polling location, as long as you have not moved out of the county of your existing registration.   Since your move was unreported, you may be asked to vote a provisional ballot.

Moving Fewer Than 30 Days Before an Election

If you have moved fewer than 30 days prior to the election, you are still qualified to vote in your prior polling place and may vote only there, even if you moved outside of your county.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) North Carolina-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's North Carolina-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it  by Election day  if emailed or faxed.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by 5pm on the day before the election.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's North Carolina-specific FWAB page.

Voting rights restored upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole and probation.  However, a voter must re-register in order to be put back on the voting rolls.

For more information, visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.


Top Issues to Field **not yet updated since 2014**

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the North Carolina Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state