REGISTERING TO VOTE IN NORTH CAROLINA
In order to register to vote in North Carolina, a person must meet the legal qualifications to vote and complete a voter registration application. When completing the application, applicants must provide: their full name, residential address, date of birth, and citizenship status. In addition, the application must be signed pen to paper (Electronic signatures do not count). Failure to complete a required field on the form will delay the processing of the application. After completion, the application should be mailed to the board of elections office in the county in which the applicant resides. If the application is complete and the applicant meets all qualifications to vote, the county board of elections will mail a voter registration card to the applicant to provide notice of the registration. This mailing is non-forwardable and also serves to verify the applicant’s address. If a voter card is returned by the postal service as undeliverable, then a second mailing will be sent to the voter. In the event that the second mailing is also returned as undeliverable, the applicant’s voter registration may subsequently be denied.Voter registration applicants who have met the voter registration deadline should expect to receive their voter card within 1 to 2 weeks. Applicants should contact their county board of elections if they do not receive their voter card within two weeks. Note: The applicant must have transmitted the registration application by the registration deadline; otherwise, the voter card will not be mailed until after the completion of the election.
Where to Register
Click here download and print a fillable North Carolina voter registration application. Once completed, the application should be printed, signed and then mailed to the county board of elections in the county where the applicant resides.
In addition to the printable voter registration application accessible on this website, voter registration applications are available at the following locations:
• NC State Board of Elections
• County Boards of Elections
• Public libraries
• Public high schools or college admissions offices.
Further, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) requires certain agencies in this state to offer voter registration services when at these locations for agency services. These agencies include are:
• North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV)
• Public Assistance Agencies o Departments of Social Services (DSS) o Departments of Public Health (WIC)
• Disability Services Agencies o Vocational Rehabilitation offices Departments of Services for the Blind o Departments of Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing o Departments of Mental Health Services o Employment Security Commission (ESC)
Qualifications to Vote
To register to vote in North Carolina, a prospective voter must meet all of the following qualifications:
• Must be a citizen of the United States.
• Must live in the county of his/her registration, and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election.
• Must be at least 18 years old. A prospective voter can submit a registration form up to two years before his/her 18th birthday, if and only if he/she will be 18 at the time of the next general election.
• Must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or parole). If a prospective voter has previously been convicted of a felony, his/her citizenship rights must be restored. For more information on voting rights for those in the North Carolina criminal justice system, click here.
Voter Registration and Party Affiliation
There are five recognized political parties in North Carolina: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian and Republican. Voter registration applicants may choose one of these political parties when completing a voter registration application, or they may choose not to register with a political party affiliation. In this case, the voter’s party affiliation will be designated as Unaffiliated. North Carolina has a semi-closed primary system. In a partisan primary, voters who are affiliated with a political party may only vote the partisan ballot for the party for which they are affiliated; they are closed from voting in another party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may vote in any one recognized party’s primary. In a General Election, voters may vote for the candidate(s) of their choice, regardless of the candidate(s)' party affiliation. There is no longer straight-party voting in North Carolina. Voters must make a separate selection for each contest.