Voting Guide

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 a one-stop site in your county of residence.


  • Primary Election Voter Registration Deadline: April 22

  • Primary Election: May 17

  • General Election Voter Registration Deadline: October 14

  • General Election: November 8

Students have a decision about where to register to vote.

You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

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 with your current name and address, such as a North Carolina driver’s license;

  • A current utility bill, paycheck, or bank statement showing your name and address; or

  • A current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation


More information about registering to vote during the early voting period is available at https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering/how-register/register-person-during-early-voting

Voters currently do not currently need to show voter ID to vote in the 2021 elections.

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 before voting. Your local board of elections will contact you if it requires this information from you, and provide more details on accepted IDs and documents.

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://www.ncsbe.gov/Voters/Voter-Tools

By Mail

All registered voters may request and vote by absentee ballot. You can 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. You can find more information about voting by mail and the request forms at https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail.

Completed absentee ballots must be:

  • Returned in person at a one-stop site

  • Received in person to your county board of elections offfice 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

  • For more information, visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail

Early In-person

  • All voters may vote early at one-stop absentee voting site in their county

  • Check your county board of elections for one-stop voting locations and hours: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/ossite/

Election Day

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.

Curbside voting is available to all one-stop voting sites and Election Day polling locations for voters who are unable to enter the voting place. For more information on eligibility, visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/votong/help-voters-disabilities/curbside-voting

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.

Tuition Status

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 March 2019