Voter Registration FAQ

What is the voter registration deadline?

The voter registration deadline is 25 days prior to an election.

May I fax or email a voter registration form?

Yes, you may fax or email your voter registration form, but if the application is for new registration or change of party affiliation, the county board of elections must receive your original signature within 20 days of the voter registration deadline for an election.

May I sign a voter registration application for someone else?

No, only a voter may sign his or her voter registration application. You are not permitted to sign the form for your spouse, child or parent, even if you have power of attorney for the person.

I moved, but I forgot to update my voter registration. May I still vote?

If I register as an unaffiliated voter, can I vote in a primary election?

Yes. If you are an unaffiliated voter, you can choose to participate in any recognized party’s partisan primary, or you may request a non-partisan ballot. However, you must choose only one party's primary. Participating in a partisan primary will not affect your status as an unaffiliated voter. If you request a non-partisan ballot, you will only vote for those contests that are non-partisan (i.e. judicial contests, referenda, etc.).

Are voter registration forms available in other languages?

If I don't vote, will my voter record be purged from the other voter registration rolls?

Voter registration records are not “purged” simply due to non-voting. Voters are removed from the voter rolls due to a biennial list maintenance process that is mandated by federal and state law. If a county board of elections has not had any contact with a voter for a period of two federal election cycles, then the voter will be sent a non-forwardable no-contact mailing. If the mailing is not returned as undeliverable by the postal system, then the voter will remain an active voter. If the mailing is returned as undeliverable by the postal system, then the voter will be sent a forwardable address confirmation mailing. The voter will be required to return the confirmation mailing within 30 days of the mailing. If the confirmation mailing is not returned by the voter within that time, or the mailing is returned by the postal system as undeliverable, then the voter’s record will be marked inactive in the voter registration database. Inactive voters are still registered voters. If an inactive voter presents to vote, the person will be asked to update his or her address with the board of elections. In the event that an inactive voter remains in this status for another two federal election cycles (meaning the county board still has no contact with the voter), then the voter will be removed as a voter in the county.

How are ineligible voters removed from the voter registration rolls?

In North Carolina, county boards of elections follow a comprehensive list maintenance schedule to remove names of individuals who are no longer eligible to be registered due to death, felony conviction, removal from the county, or lack of voter contact.

Voting: Frequently Asked Questions

Is photo ID required to vote now?

No. In 2014 and 2015 elections, voters who vote in person (at a one-stop early voting site or at their polling place) may present photo ID before voting, but will not be required to do so. These voters will be notified of photo ID requirements that will go into full effect starting in 2016. These voters will also be asked if they have one of the approved forms of ID (for details on what types of ID can serve as photo ID, click here). If that voter indicates he or she does not have one or more of the types of photo ID appropriate for voting, that voter shall be asked to sign an acknowledgment of the photo ID requirement and be given a list of types of approved photo ID and information on how to obtain those types of photo identification.

Is a voter registration card required to vote?

No. A voter registration card simply serves to confirm that the voter is registered, and to provide specific details such as the voter's polling place. That information can also be found on this website through the Voter Lookup tool. If you would like to receive a replacement card, please contact your local County Board of Elections office and ask that a new card be mailed to you.

Who can vote by mail-in absentee ballot?

Any registered voter. It is not necessary for the voter to actually be absent on Election Day. Any registered voter can vote a civilian mail-in absentee ballot (for more information, click here). North Carolina voters who are active-duty military, U.S. citizens who are overseas on Election Day, or family members of those two groups may also vote through special absentee ballot options (for more information about military-overseas absentee voting, click here).

Can college students in North Carolina vote?

College students can register and vote in the jurisdiction of their residence. A registered voter may only have one residence. If the college student considers his or her school address to be his or her residence, the college student may register and vote in the county where the school is located.

Are absentee ballots and provisional ballots only counted when the election contest is tied
or the results are close?

No. All ballots are counted in the official election results. Election results that are reported on Election night are not official. These unofficial results will include votes from Election Day, one-stop early voting sites, and mail-in absentee ballots that were received in time to be counted on Election Day. Before the elections office finalizes the official count (through a process called canvass), the County Board of Elections will also include in the count all timely mail-in absentee ballots received on or after Election Day, as well as provisional votes that the County Board of Elections determines to be properly cast.