Rock the Vote!

All the info you need to vote in NC on Tuesday, Nov. 8th!

October 13, 2016

Stefano Venturi via Dreamstime


The deadline to register to vote for the 2016 Presidential election is Friday, October 14th!! Here is all the information you need to vote!

How do I know if I’m eligible to vote in North Carolina?

You are eligible to vote if you are:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be a resident of the county, and prior to voting in an election, must have resided at his or her residential address for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election.
  • Must be at least 18 years old, or will be at the time of the next general election, or be at least 16 years old and understand that you must be at least 18 years old on Election Day of the general election in order to vote.
  • Must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or on parole). If previously convicted of a felony, the person’s citizenship rights must be restored. Citizenship and voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of the sentence. No special document is needed.
  • Must rescind any previous registration in another county or state.


How do I know if I’m already registered to vote?

It’s easy! Visit

What are the age limits on voting registration?

You must be 18 years or older to vote. You may register to vote if you are 17 years old as long as you will be 18 by the Election Day.

What if I don’t register to vote in time?

If you don’t register before the registration deadline, you will not be able to vote in this year’s election.

How and where do I vote?

 Your polling place depends on what precinct you live in; the polling location is listed on the voter card you were mailed after you registered. If you don’t have your card (and you do not need it to vote), you can find your polling place on the Board of Elections “page” with your registration by clicking here or at the League of Women Voters site in periods close to an election by clicking here.

It is important that you vote in your home precinct on Election Day. If you vote in the wrong precinct’s polling place but in your correct county on Election Day, you will need to file a Provisional Ballot, and your ballot will only partially count. Some people go to an Early Voting center on Election Day, but that will not work unless it happens to be your own precinct’s polling place.

All polling places are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Election Day. If you are in line at 7:30 PM, you will be allowed to vote.

Do I need an ID to vote?

The controversial voter ID requirement that you may have heard about was repealed by the federal courts in July 2016. As a result, most voters generally do not need to show ID.  However, new voters are asked to list an ID number on the registration form – either their NC driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of their Social Security number. If officials can’t verify the number, or if the voter omits it, the voter will be asked at the polls to show a photo ID or one of these with their name and current address: a utility bill (electric, phone, water, or cable), pay stub, bank statement, or any document from any government agency. It’s generally smart to carry a photo ID with you.

How can I vote early?

Beginning 19 days before an election, all NC counties must open at least one location where citizens can vote early. This is sometimes called “One-Stop Absentee Voting” or “In-Person Absentee Voting” because you are voting early in person, and you will be “absent” on Election Day. (You can also vote early by mail with an Absentee Ballot.)

Any voter in the county can use any of the Early Voting sites in the county. You do not need an excuse to use Early Voting.

Instructions for how to find the locations and hours of the Early Voting sites in your area can be found here. You can also contact your county Board of Elections for Early Voting sites and times, because those will vary from county to county. Many counties have sites open on evenings and Saturdays, or even Sundays. At least one site in your county will be open for a few hours on the Saturday before Election Day (3 days before Election Day), which is when Early Voting ends.

Note: All ballots cast early by eligible voters are counted and help determine the election winner, just like the ballots cast on Election Day. It is a myth that they are not counted the same.

What if I can’t vote in person?

If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, you have the option to send your vote via mail using an absentee ballot.

To request an absentee ballot, you or a near relative must submit an Absentee Ballot request formto your county Board of Elections (be sure the request is signed). This request can be made as early as 50 days before the election, but it must be received at the county Board’s office at least 7 days before Election Day, by 5 PM.

What if I have a disability?

People who have visual, physical, cognitive, or mental disabilities have a right to vote, protected by federal and state law. You have the right to receive assistance when you are voting, but a poll worker is not allowed to offer assistance – you have to ask for it. If you have a disability or difficulty reading (due to language ability, vision, etc.), you can ask for assistance from any person of your choice, except not an agent of your employer or union.

You can also remain in a car and vote from the curbside of the polling place if you would have difficulty going inside, due to your age or a physical disability. A poll worker will bring the ballot to you.

You may want to contact your county Board of Elections and ask them about the accessibility of your polling place or an Early Voting location. You have the right to request another permanent polling place in advance of the election if yours is inaccessible.

Where do I vote if I’ve recently moved?

If you registered to vote but have moved since then, where you vote depends on how long you’ve been at your new address.

If you moved to a different precinct in the same county less than 30 days before the election, you can vote at your old precinct’s polling place on Election Day. If it has been more than 30 days, you can either (1) go to your old precinct, ask for a “transfer,” take it to your new precinct’s polling place and vote, or (2) go to your new polling place and ask for a Provisional Ballot if your name is not on the voter roll.

The most convenient and reliable way to vote if you have moved within you county but have not updated your registration is to vote at an Early Voting site during Early Voting.

If you moved to a different county, then you need to register like a new voter by submitting a registration form 25 days before the election. Or, you can use Same Day Registration by going to a One-Stop Early Voting site in your new county during the Early Voting period  (You cannot do this on Election Day.)

I’m living abroad. How do I vote?

U.S. citizens that are temporarily living abroad can register to vote by mail using the Federal Post Card Application. This can be found at

Do I have to join a political party?

When you register to vote, you will be asked if you want to “disclose a political party reference”. You may choose a party, or you can choose to be unaffiliated with any party. If you wish to register independent of a party, you must confirm that you don’t want to disclose a political party reference.

What happens after I cast my vote?

Once the last voter has voted, the ballots will be sent to a vote counting facility. The votes will be counted and observed to make sure that counting will be fair.

Click HERE for a sample ballot before Election Day!