How to vote in North Carolina
Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. North Carolina allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You can also vote in person. North Carolina offers early voting.
Who can vote
You have to register to vote before election day in North Carolina. You can find the deadline to register to vote in the "Dates and deadlines" section.
To register in North Carolina you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- have lived at the registered address for at least thirty days immediately before the next election at which you want to vote
- be 18 years of age by the day of the next general election
- have your rights of citizenship restored if you have been convicted of a felony and completed your felony sentence including probation, post release supervision, parole or a prison term
- not be registered or vote in any other county or state
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Vote in person
Vote on election day
Voters registered in North Carolina can look up where to vote on North Carolina's site.
North Carolina voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
What to bring
- If you've voted in North Carolina before, you don't need to show ID to vote.
- If you're a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn't provide your driver's license number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration form, you will need to show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: a driver's license or state ID; US Passport; employee ID; student ID; military ID; or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.
- 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.
Vote by mail
- Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
- Fill out the application completely.
- Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
See what's on the ballot
Get step-by-step help
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!
Election Day registration
North Carolina does not offer registration on Election Day.
Military and overseas voters
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:35 days before election - On a ship at sea: September 28, 202030 days before election - Outside of the US: October 2, 202011 days before the election - Stateside: October 23, 2020
- 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 election official 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.
Check your 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.
Dates and deadlines
- Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- The deadline to register online to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Friday, October 9, 2020.
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Friday, October 9, 2020, you can register and vote in person at one-stop sites during the early voting period, which runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020. This process is known as same-day registration. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. Within two business days, the county board of elections will review the registration and the registrant's address. Your vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that you are not qualified to vote.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- The early voting period runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
Election contact information for North Carolina
State Board of Elections
Third floor, 430 N. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27603