To register to vote in a North Carolina county, a person must meet the following qualifications:
To vote in North Carolina, a person who meets the qualifications above must sign and complete a voter registration application. When completing a voter registration application, be sure to provide your full name, residential address, date of birth, and citizenship status. In addition, do not forget to sign the form. Failure to complete a required field on the form will delay the processing of the application. After completion, send the form to the appropriate county board of elections. In order to vote in an election, the form must be received by the voter registration deadline.
If an application is complete, the county board of elections will notify registrants of their precinct and polling place assignments by mail (voter card). Voter registration applicants, who have met the voter registration deadline, should expect to receive their voter card within 1 to 2 weeks. The voter card is a non-forwardable mailing. If a voter card is returned by the postal service as undeliverable after two attempts, then an applicant’s voter registration may subsequently be denied. Applicants should contact their county board of elections if they do not receive their voter card within two weeks. Note: The applicant must have transmitted the registration application by the registration deadline; otherwise, the voter card will not be mailed until after the completion of the election.
The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before the day of an election. County Boards of Elections must receive voter registration applications by this date. If an applicant mails the form, the mailing must be postmarked by the deadline in order to be deemed timely for an upcoming election. Voter registration applications submitted at DMV offices or voter registration agencies are received as of the date the form is given to the voter registration agency. As long as this date is on or before the voter registration deadline, then the application will be deemed timely for an upcoming election. Voter registration applications that are received after the voter registration deadline will not be processed until after the completion of the election.
Individuals who miss the registration deadline may register in person and then vote at One-stop voting sites in the person’s county of residence during the one-stop absentee voting period (Early Voting). In order to register during a one-stop period, the applicant must show acceptable proof of name and residence in the county.
Voter registration services may also be offered by any individual, group or organization that desires to conduct a voter registration drive. No special training or permission is needed to conduct a voter registration drive; however, organizers should follow the guidelines set out in our Voter Registration Drives: A Citizen's Guide brochure. County boards of elections can provide voter registration supplies to drive organizers in limited quantities (less than 1000 blank forms). If a larger quantity of forms is needed, organizers may request the forms directly from the State Board of Elections. Applications collected at voter registration drives must be delivered to the appropriate county board of elections by the voter registration deadline.
A person who is at least 16 years of age but will not be 18 years of age by the date of the next election and who is otherwise qualified to register may preregister to vote. Pre-registration allows an individual to become automatically registered upon reaching the age of eligibility. In order to preregister to vote, a person may complete a regular North Carolina voter registration application. The county board of elections will retain the application until the person becomes eligible for voter registration. During a general election year, a 17 year old is eligible to become registered prior to the statewide primary and may vote in the statewide primary, as long as he or she will be 18 on or before the day of the general election.
There are three recognized political parties in North Carolina: Democratic, Republican and Libertarian. Voter registration applicants may choose one of these political parties when completing a voter registration application, or they may choose to register as Unaffiliated. North Carolina has a semi-closed primary system. In a partisan primary, voters who are affiliated with a political party may only vote the partisan ballot for the party for which they are affiliated; they are closed to voting in another party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may vote in any recognized party’s primary, but they may only participate in one.
Voter Registration Forms
Update Your Voter Registration
Check Your Registration Status
Military and Overseas Citizens
Residency for Voting Purposes
Voter Registration Drives
Voter Registration Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions