howtovote logo
How to
in
North Carolina allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You can also vote in person in North Carolina during early voting and on Election Day.

Who can register to vote?

To register in North Carolina you must:
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • live in the county where you are registering, and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election
  • be 18 years old by the day of the next General Election. You may pre-register to vote if you are at least 16 years old. You may vote in a primary election if you will be 18 years old at the time of the General Election
  • not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction

How do I vote in person?

Where can I vote on Election Day?

You can look up where to vote on North Carolina's site.

Can I vote early?

  • Yes, North Carolina does offer early voting. You can choose whether to vote on Election Day or during the early voting period, whichever is easier for you. This can be especially helpful if it would be difficult or not possible for you to vote on Election Day. Early voting locations may be less crowded, as well.

What do I need to bring?

If you've voted in North Carolina before, you don't need to show ID to vote.

If you registered to vote for the first time and did not provide a North Carolina driver license number or last four digits of your Social Security number on your registration application, or you provided a number that could not be validated, you will be required to show proof of identification. Proof of identification includes:
  • current and valid photo identification
  • current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address

Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will still be able to vote a provisional ballot and can bring one of these documents to the board of elections prior to canvass.

How can I check the status of my ballot?

You can check the status of your ballot on North Carolina’s site.

Can I vote early?

Yes, North Carolina does offer early voting.
  • You can choose whether to vote on Election Day or during the early voting period, whichever is easier for you. This can be especially helpful if it would be difficult or not possible for you to vote on Election Day. Early voting locations may be less crowded, as well.

      What do I need to bring?

      If you've voted in North Carolina before, you don't need to show ID to vote.

      If you registered to vote for the first time and did not provide a North Carolina driver license number or last four digits of your Social Security number on your registration application, or you provided a number that could not be validated, you will be required to show proof of identification. Proof of identification includes:
      • current and valid photo identification
      • current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address

      Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will still be able to vote a provisional ballot and can bring one of these documents to the board of elections prior to canvass.

      How do I vote by mail?

      In North Carolina, any registered voter can request to get a ballot by mail. Fill out the mail ballot application and mail or return it in person to your local election office. You can also request a mail ballot online using the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Portal.

      What should I do if I don’t get my ballot?

      If you don’t receive your ballot in the mail, then contact your local election office.

      How do I return my ballot?

      What do I need to do if I’ve moved?

      What’s on your ballot depends on where you live, so your voter registration is tied to your exact address. If you’ve moved, you need to re-register with your new address.

      How can I check the status of my ballot?

      You can check the status of your ballot on North Carolina’s site.

      Can I register to vote on Election Day?

      North Carolina does not offer registration on Election Day. You may register and vote in person at the same time during the early voting period using a One Stop Early Voting Location in your county.

      You may also register on Election Day if you become a U.S. citizen or have your rights restored following a felony conviction after the regular voter registration deadline.

      How do I see what's on my ballot?

      Learn more about what will be on your ballot by visiting the “Your Sample Ballot” section of the North Carolina Voter Search Tool.

      How do I get help registering to vote?

      TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

      How do I vote if I'm in the military or live overseas?

      Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your local election office for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
      1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your local election office may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
      2. Send the application to your local election office.
      3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible.
      4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.
      5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
      If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your local election office first. Then:
      • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
      • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
      The Federal Voting Assistance Program offers additional information on military and overseas voting in North Carolina. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE (8683) or email vote@fvap.gov

      How can I check my voter registration status?

      You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using North Carolina's voter registration lookup tool.


      Which election office should I contact?

      • In North Carolina, your local election office runs the elections in your area. They can help you with questions about registering to vote, voting by mail, and local elections.
      • The State Board of Elections oversees elections and election administration in North Carolina. They can help you with questions about voting in your state, election security, or issues you might have at the polls. If you have concerns about voter intimidation, reach out immediately.

      How do I contact my local election office?

      Visit your state’s site to find your local election office.

      Can I trust this information?

      These guides are researched, written, and updated by Democracy Works, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, to inform voters via partners including Google and TurboVote. The information in these guides originates from official state sources and is reviewed by state election offices. The guides also link to authoritative state and local resources to provide additional information.

      How do I report an issue with the information provided on this page?

      Email htv@democracy.works with questions, concerns or feedback about the voting information on this page.