4:38 p.m: Any registered and eligible North Carolina voter may now request an absentee ballot for the 2022 primary election online through the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Portal, available on the State Board of Elections’ website.
The State Board launched the secure absentee request portal in 2020. That year, more than 362,000 requests were made through the service.
“The absentee ballot portal has helped many voters securely request their absentee ballots since we started it in 2020,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Whether you prefer to vote by mail or in person, we encourage all voters to choose the voting method that works best for you.”
The 2022 primary election is May 17. A number of municipalities across the state are electing their representatives that day as well. The general election is November 8.
To request a ballot through the portal, voters must verify their identity by providing their full name, date of birth, address, and either their driver’s license number (or other DMV ID number) or last four digits of their Social Security number. Voters will sign and submit the form online. If a voter provides their email address, they will receive a confirmation email after the request is submitted through the portal.
The deadline to submit a request for an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. May 10, one week before Election Day. The State Board encourages voters to request a ballot sooner to ensure they can return their ballot in time to be counted.
In late March or early April, after ballots are prepared, county boards of elections across North Carolina will begin sending them out to voters who request them.
What is a Primary Election?
In a primary election, voters select which candidates will appear on the ballot for a given political party in the general election in November. Voters registered with one of the recognized political parties (Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican) may only cast a ballot in that party’s primary election. Unaffiliated voters may request a Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican ballot, or a nonpartisan ballot, if available.
For any nonpartisan local elections also taking place on May 17, all qualified voters choose among the same candidates, regardless of the voters’ party affiliation.
Returning the Ballot
Absentee voters must return their ballot, sealed inside the specially provided envelope, to their county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day, May 17, 2022.
Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Election Day will be counted only if they are postmarked on or before Election Day and received by mail no later than 5 p.m. on the Friday after the election. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Election Day.
The portal also allows military and overseas (UOCAVA) voters, as well as visually impaired voters, to request and return an absentee ballot through the web-based portal. The request deadline for military and overseas voters is 5 p.m. May 16. The request deadline for visually impaired voters is 5 p.m. May 10.
2022 Primary Dates and Deadlines
- March 28, 2022: The date by which the boards of elections must make available absentee ballots, unless reduced by five days under N.C.G.S. 163-227.10(a).
- April 22, 2022: Civilian voter registration deadline for the primary.
- April 28, 2022: One-stop, in-person early voting period begins for the primary, under N.C.G.S. 163-227.2(b).
- May 10, 2022: Deadline for civilians to submit an absentee ballot request form for the primary.
- May 14, 2022: One-stop, in-person early voting period ends at 3 p.m. for the primary, under N.C.G.S. 163-227.2(b).
- May 17, 2022: Election Day for the primary and civilian absentee ballot return deadline.