North Carolina Absentee Ballot Guide
- Voter Registration: Received 25 days before the election (by mail). You can also register in person and vote early during the "one-stop" voting period.
- Absentee Ballot Application: Received by the Tuesday before the election by 5:00 p.m.
- Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by election day and received by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd day after the election; Received by 5:00 p.m the day before the election if returned in person
How to vote by absentee ballot
Register to vote
Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Widget. Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. For faster processing, mail the form directly to your County Board of Elections.
Verify your voter registration
It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot. If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.
NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.
Make sure you're qualified to vote by absentee ballot
Good news! Any registered North Carolina voter can vote by absentee ballot.
Apply for your absentee ballot
The earliest day to apply for an absentee ballot is 50 days before election day; the deadline for applying is the Tuesday prior to election day.
There is no official North Carolina absentee ballot application. (We tried to create one, but were forbidden by law from doing so. We're not making this up.)
The absolute fastest way to get a North Carolina absentee ballot is to create your own typed or handwritten request and send it to your County Board of Elections. The request must include the following:
- A request statement that reads: "I am requesting an absentee ballot for the election on (insert date of election here)"
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- Your residential address (i.e. the North Carolina address where you're registered to vote)
- The address to which the absentee ballot should be mailed
- Your daytime telephone number
- Your signature
A "near relative" can also submit a written request on your behalf. A near relative is a spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.) In lieu of the voter’s signature, the request must include the requester’s signature, home address, daytime phone number and relationship to the voter.
If you really don't want to create your own request, you can call your County Board of Elections and asking them to mail you an absentee ballot application. This might be slow, however, since they'll need to mail you the application and you'll need to mail it back.
Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot
Your county board will process your application and mail you a ballot and a return envelope. Fill out the ballot, sign where indicated, and return your absentee ballot to your county Board of Elections. Your ballot must be receied by 5pm the day before the election in order to be counted.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I missed the voter registration deadline for North Carolina. What can I do?
A North Carolina resident who is qualified to vote but who misses the 25-day deadline for voter registration may register and vote in person before election day at an Early Voting Site. If you do this, you must vote at the Early Voting Site during the early voting period; you cannot vote by mail or at the polls on election day. See our Early Voting page for more information.
Do I need to provide ID when I apply for my absentee ballot in North Carolina?
You do not need to provide ID if you've already voted in North Carolina at least once. If you are voting for the first time in North Carolina and you did not meet the ID requirements when you registered to vote, then you must include a COPY of a current and valid photo ID that shows your name OR a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and North Carolina address.
Long Distance Voter has created custom absentee ballot application forms for other states, why not North Carolina?
We made a North Carolina absentee ballot application, but we were informed by the State Board of Elections that it is against state law for a third party (such as Long Distance Voter) to create and distribute absentee ballot applications. The state isn't being malicious, but they are concerned about outside influence on elections.
We think the best solution at this point is for the State Board of Elections to create their own formal absentee ballot application and to make it available on their website. If you agree with us - and we bet you do - call the State Board of Elections and ask them to create a formal statewide absentee ballot application. Here are their phone numbers: (919) 733-7173 or (866) 522-4723.
Can I vote in person before the election?
Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.
|Local Election Officials:||Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions. They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines.|