2016 Voting Rules

North Carolina’s election laws have been changing rapidly over the last couple of years.  Here’s the most up-to-date information on what is in place for the 2016 November Election.

How will the July 2016 federal court decision affect voting?

There are many changes: Early Voting is back to 17 days; Same-Day Registration during Early Voting, out-of-precinct voting on Election Day, and preregistration are restored; the photo ID requirement has been repealed.  The sections below have more information on each of these changes.

Do I need a photo ID in 2016?

The controversial voter ID requirement that you may have heard about was repealed by the federal courts in July 2016.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 – but if you are a first-time voter or have moved to a new county, you may need to show a photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, or document from any government agency with your address. It’s generally smart to carry a photo ID with you. See more information at the State Board of Elections website.

Back to top

What if I missed the 25-day registration deadline? Can I still vote?

Yes, but only during Early Voting.

Same Day Registration is a good option if you missed the 25-day registration deadline, or have recently become eligible to vote.  You can check your registration here.

To use Same Day Registration, you must provide one of the following documents to an election official at an Early Voting location:

  • NC driver’s license
  • Other government photo ID with name and current address
  • Utility bill, bank statement, or payroll stub with name and current address
  • Student photo ID with a school document showing the student’s address
  • Any document from any government agency with the voter’s name and current address.

Back to top

What if I can’t get to my home precinct on Election Day?

You can cast a ballot that will be counted (at least in part) at any precinct’s polling place in your county. Your vote will count for all contests on the ballot at your home precinct’s poll (e.g., mayor, at-large city council, etc.).

Back to top