2014 Primary Election: April 11, 2014
2014 General Election: October 10, 2014
You must register to vote 25 days before an election.
How to Check Your Registration Status
Eligibility Requirements to Register
To register to vote in the 2014 Elections:
First Time Voters Who Register By Mail
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:
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: the 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 the Employment Security Commission.
In addition, you can pick up a voter registration application at public libraries, high schools, and college admissions offices.
A person who is at least 16 years old but will not be 18 by the date of the next election may preregister to vote. This allows that person to become automatically registered upon reaching the age of eligibility. To preregister, use the regular North Carolina voter registration application.
If You Want to Vote Early
North Carolina has "one-stop voting." One-stop voting allows registered voters to vote early. It also lets unregistered voters to both register and vote at the same time.
The one-stop voting period begins on the second Thursday before an election and ends the Saturday prior to the election. You can look up your county’s one-stop voting sites here.
If you are not yet registered to vote, the process for one-stop voting is:
Acceptable forms of ID include:
A full list of acceptable ID documents is available here.
A new one-stop voter registrant may only vote at a one-stop voting site in the county of registration during one-stop voting period, and not on Election Day.
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 or take advantage of one-stop voting in person (see above).
Requesting an Absentee Ballot
A near relative 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.
Returning a Completed Absentee Ballot
If you decide to return your ballot in person, you must bring it to your County Board of Elections before 5:00 p.m. on the day before 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.
You can check the status of your absentee ballot online at any time here.
NOTE: In 2013, the Governor signed HB 589, which created new identification requirements for voting in North Carolina. Those requirements do NOT take effect until 2016, and are NOT in effect for 2014elections.
Most voters in North Carolina are not required to show identification. However, if you are a first-time voter and you did not provide your North Carolina driver license or the last four digits of your social security number when you completed your voter registration application, or one or both of those numbers could not be validated, then you will need to provide ID the first time that you vote. If you are required to show ID, you must provide one the following:
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.
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 returning it by Election day (11/6/2012) if emailed or faxed, or by 11/15/2012 if mailed. 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.
For more information for voters with mental disabilities, visit The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and National Disability Rights Network’s document: “Voting Rights Guide for People with Mental Disabilities”
Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
Conducting a Voter Registration Drive in your state? Here are some resources.