In North Carolina, absentee voting is broadly divided into three categories: absentee-by-mail voting, military and overseas citizens voting (also called UOCAVA voting), and absentee one-stop voting. These processes are all considered absentee, because the voting takes place away from the traditional Election Day precincts.
Absentee-by-mail voting is fairly self-explanatory. A voter fills out a request form for an absentee ballot, then mails it to their county board of elections. The BOE will process the form and mail the voter a ballot, which the voter should complete, have witnessed, and return by mail.
Any registered North Carolina voter may request an absentee ballot by mail. No excuse is needed to vote by absentee. To request an absentee ballot, complete the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request Form. The Absentee Ballot Request Form may only be signed by the voter or a voter’s near relative or legal guardian. According to the law, a "near relative" can be any of the following: spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild of the voter.
A completed Absentee Ballot Request Form may be scanned and emailed, faxed, or mailed to the county board of elections. The contact information for the county boards of elections may be found here.
More information is available on Civilian Absentee Voting page.
Military/Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting
Uniformed service members (and their eligible dependents), as well as U.S. citizens living outside of the United States, may request an absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). This federal act and corresponding laws in North Carolina allow uniformed service members and overseas citizens who are absent from their county of residence in North Carolina to request, receive and return an absentee ballot under special rights.
Click here for more information on UOCAVA absentee voting.
One-Stop Absentee (Early) Voting
One-stop absentee voting (in-person absentee voting, or early voting) allows registered voters to go in person to their county board of elections office (or an alternative location) to vote an absentee ballot. One-stop absentee voting is conducted starting on the third Thursday before the election and ends on the last Saturday before the election. During the one-stop early voting period, you may register to vote and vote on the same day.
Click here for more information on One-stop Absentee Voting.
One-stop early voting sites in your county can be found here.