Vote by Mail
Any North Carolina registered voter may request, receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot in most elections. No special circumstance or reason is needed to vote by mail in North Carolina.
Military and Overseas Voting
Military or overseas voters have special rights under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). See our Military and Overseas Voting page for more information on military and overseas citizens absentee voting.
Question: Does it violate the law if I request an absentee ballot, then change my mind about using it and go vote in person?
Answer: No. Requesting an absentee ballot will not record you in our system as having voted. As long as you do not vote your absentee ballot, you may vote in person during the early voting period or on Election Day. You may simply discard your absentee ballot. There is no need to bring it with you to a polling place.
Question: Can a polling place accept my voted absentee ballot?
Answer: Yes, but only during the early voting period from October 15–31. Find early voting site hours and locations in your county by using the One-Stop Early Voting Site Search. Ballots may not be dropped off at polling places on Election Day.
Question: When are absentee votes counted?
Answer: Upon receipt, the county board of elections staff reviews each container-return envelope for completeness. Beginning five weeks before Election Day, the county board of elections holds weekly absentee board meetings where the approved ballots are inserted into a voting machine. However, results are not tabulated or reported until Election Day.
For more details and answers to absentee voting questions, visit FAQ: Voting by Mail in North Carolina in 2020.
Detailed Instructions for Voting by Mail
Voting by mail in North Carolina takes three simple steps — requesting, completing and returning a ballot. Find more information on Detailed Instructions for Voting by Mail.