North Carolina | Voting Guide
Registration Deadlines and Election Dates
Voter Registration Deadline: Application must be received or postmarked no later than 25 days before Election Day
After the 25th day before the election, you may register in person during the early voting period at the one-stop site in your county of residence.
Primary Election Registration Deadline: February 7
Primary Election: March 3
General Election Registration Deadline: October 9
General Election: November 3
Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home
Students have a choice about where to register to vote.
Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.
You may only be registered and vote in one location.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?
North Carolina’s voter registration form asks for your North Carolina driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.
If you register to vote in person during the early voting period, you must also provide proof of residency. The following are examples of acceptable proof of residency:
A government-issued photo ID, such as a North Carolina driver’s license;
A current utility bill, paycheck, or bank statement showing your name and address; or
A physical or electronic document from your educational institution, showing your name and campus housing address, such as a transcript, invoice, or registration.
If you reside in a campus housing facility and your college or university prepares and transmits to the county board of elections a roster of students residing in campus housing, you may reference this roster and present a student ID card as proof of residency.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?
Voters currently do not need to show voter ID to vote in the 2020 elections.
North Carolina implemented a new voter ID law in 2019 but a federal court issued a preliminary injunction, which stops the law from going into effect. The court case is on-going so be sure to check back for updates or contact your local board of elections prior to any election for more information.
Check the NC State Board of Elections site for updates before going to vote:
Some first-time voters may need to show a photo ID or an official document with their name and address on it when they go to vote. If this is the case your confirmation from your local board of elections when you register to vote will indicate this and provide more details on accepted IDs and documents.
Where Do I Vote?
Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Voter-Tools
How Can I Vote?
Deadline for requesting an absentee ballot: October 27 at 5 p.m.
Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 3 and received by November 6.
Early voting period: October 15 to October 31.
Curbside voting is available during the early voting period for any voter who has a medical or mental disability, has a medical condition putting them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, should not wear a mask because of a medical or behavioral condition, or who are currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Find more information about curbside voting at https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/help-voters-disabilities/curbside-voting.
All registered voters may request and vote by absentee ballot. Request your absentee ballot application online or by returning the absentee ballot request form to your county board of elections office. Absentee ballot requests must be received by your county board of elections by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.
Completed absentee ballots must be:
Received by 5 p.m. on Election Day, or
Postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on the third day after Election Day
All voters may vote early at any one-stop absentee voting site in their county.
Voting sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you have the right to vote.
Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:
Federal Financial Aid
Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.
Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.
Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.
Will registering to vote in North Carolina affect my driver’s license or car registration?
As a full-time student in North Carolina, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in North Carolina. For more information, contact the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.
Last updated September 2020