Absentee Voting

Any registered voter in North Carolina who is qualified to vote in an election can either request and receive a mail-in absentee ballot or vote during One-Stop for any election, whether it is a statewide primary, general election, or special election on constitutional amendments, referendum or bond proposals, or any municipal election in which absentee voting is allowed. No special circumstance or excuse is needed to receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot.

The absentee public register for an election can be easily accessed. Interested parties can select the election date and view public data regarding absentee voting for that election. For each election, the absentee register is confidential and not a public record until the opening of the polls on Election Day.

Until further order of the court, voters are not required to show photo ID. The law was enjoined by a federal district court on December 31, 2019. This page will be updated if new information becomes available.

  1. Requesting an Absentee By-Mail Ballot

General Instructions

A person must be a registered voter in their North Carolina County of residence in order to request an absentee ballot. If not registered to vote in the proper county, a person must submit a voter registration application (PDF) along with the State Absentee Ballot Request Form (PDF). The deadline to register to vote is 25 days prior to the date of the election. Registered voters may request a ballot through the new online Absentee Request Portal on the NC State Board of Elections website or fill out the NC State Absentee Request Form. For more information about how to vote absentee-by-mail, visit the NC State Board of Elections.

Completing the Form

The voter's full name, residential address, date of birth and an identification number must be provided on this form. This information will be used to confirm your voter registration. In addition, this form must be signed by the voter or the voter's near relative or qualified legal guardian. The absentee ballot request form may also serve as a voter change form; however, changes in voter registration may only be made by the voter.

Who may make a request for an absentee ballot?

Either the voter or the voter's near relative or qualified legal guardian may request an absentee ballot. A "near relative" is defined as the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.

If a registered voter is a patient in any hospital, clinic, nursing home or rest home, it is unlawful for any owner, manager, director, employee, or other person, other than the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, to request an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter, unless the absentee voter is disabled. A disabled absentee voter may receive assistance from any person they choose.

Proof of Identification

If the voter's NC driver license number, NC DMV-issued identification card number, or last four digits of social security number is not provided, a copy of one of the following must be provided along with the request form:

  • A current and valid photo identification
  • A document that shows the name and residential address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document

Ballot Availability

  • 50 days prior to the date of a statewide primary election
  • 60 days prior to the date of a statewide general election
  • 30 days prior to the date of municipal elections
  1. Returning an Absentee By-Mail Request Form
  1. Returning an Absentee By-Mail Ballot
  1. Military and Overseas Voters
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