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How to Vote in North Carolina’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 05/15/24 by Natalie Missakian

En español

Important dates and election information

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  • Last day of regular (not same-day) registration: Friday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m.
  • Early in-person voting: Thursday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 2, 3 p.m.
  • Last day to request an absentee ballot: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 5 p.m.
  • Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 5.
  • Last day to return absentee ballot: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.

Voting at a glance

  • Voter registration: Use the state's voter search tool to check your registration status.

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter who is eligible to vote in an election may request to vote absentee by mail.

  • Early in-person voting: Available Thursday, Oct. 17, through Saturday, Nov. 2, until 3 p.m.

  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Bring a photo ID, such as your driver’s license or state ID card.

Recent voting changes in North Carolina

Court rulings and laws passed in 2023 introduced changes to voting procedures, some of which are being challenged in court:

  • Voters will be asked to show an acceptable photo ID when voting. 

  • Absentee ballots must be received by the county elections board by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day; a three-day grace period has been eliminated.

Redistricting in 2023 changed the boundaries of state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. Use the state's Find Your Legislators tool to look up your district. Litigation is ongoing. Check back for updates.

Voter Registration

The regular registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m. If you miss the deadline, you can register and vote on the same day, but only during early voting.

Voters walk to a polling place to cast their ballots in Charlotte, North Carolina.
GRANT BALDWIN/AFP via Getty Images

Register to vote online, by mail or in person.

Same-day registration

You cannot vote on Election Day in North Carolina, although there are a few exceptions.
For most voters, same-day registration is only available during early voting. Cast your vote at any early voting site in your county.

Check your voter registration status

You can check your registration status using the state’s voter search tool.

How to request an absentee ballot

Request an absentee ballot online, by phone or in person. No reason is needed.

Mail or drop off the completed and signed form to your county board of elections office.

Remember to include your date of birth and North Carolina driver’s license number, DMV-issued state ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. A close relative, such as a spouse, sibling or child, or your legal guardian can request and submit the form on your behalf.

Your form must be received (not just postmarked) by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Completing an absentee ballot

Two witnesses (age 18 or over) or one notary public must be present when you fill out your ballot and must sign the back of your ballot envelope. You must include a copy of an eligible photo ID or fill out an exception form. Find detailed instructions for voting by mail on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

Returning an absentee ballot

Return your ballot by mail or in person.

Register with BallotTrax to check your ballot’s status.

Voting in person before Election Day

You may cast your ballot at any early voting site in your county. Early voting runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, through 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

On Election Day, you must vote at your designated precinct. Find your polling place by logging in to the voter search tool or by using the polling place search tool. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you are in line by 7:30 p.m., you’ll be allowed to vote.

To view or download sample ballots, enter your information into the state’s voter search tool to pull up your voter record, then scroll down to “Your Sample Ballot.”

Voter ID Requirements on Election Day

You will be asked to show an acceptable photo ID, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, when voting. If you don’t have the required ID, you’ll still be allowed to vote, but you must fill out additional paperwork.

Those 65 or older may use an expired ID as long as it was current on their 65th birthday.

If you forgot your ID, you can vote a provisional ballot and bring the required documentation to your county board of elections office by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Voters without an ID can get a free ID card from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles or their county board of elections office.

Find more information about North Carolina’s Voter ID law, including a full list of acceptable IDs, on the state board of elections website.

Voting with a disability

If you have a disability and need help entering the voting booth or marking your ballot, you may ask a person of your choice to assist you, as long as that person is not your employer or union representative or their agent. North Carolina offers curbside voting at each polling place and early voting site.

Blind or visually impaired voters may vote online using an accessible absentee ballot.

Find more information about accessible voting, including assistance for voters in care facilities, on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

Voting from a nursing home or long-term care facility 

If you live in a nursing home or care facility and do not need assistance because of a disability, you may request help from a near relative, legal guardian or Multipartisan Assistance Team, or MAT, appointed by your county board of elections.

A MAT can provide assistance with such activities as voter registration, requesting an absentee ballot, serving as an absentee witness and marking an absentee ballot. Contact your county board of elections to schedule a MAT visit.

Long-term care residents with a disability can request a person of their choosing to help them (except their employer or union representative) or they can request a visit from a MAT.

Find more information on the state elections board website.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Dec. 29, 2023. It has been updated to reflect new information about the 2024 elections.

Natalie Missakian covers federal and state policy and writes AARP’s Fighting for You Every Day blog. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. She has also written for the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

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