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A photo ID is now required to vote in NC, but there are exceptions.
Find more information here.

Any registered voter can vote by mail.

You don't need a special excuse. Find deadlines and instructions below if needed or click the button below to request your ballot now online.
Request a Ballot Online

Request your absentee ballot by 5PM, the Tuesday one week before Election Day.

! IMPORTANT: Your request must be RECEIVED by your county Board of Elections by this time. A postmark date will not count.
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Return your absentee ballot by 7:30 PM, Election Day

! IMPORTANT: Your ballot must be RECEIVED by your county Board of Elections by this time. A postmark date no longer counts.

3 Easy Steps to Vote by Mail (Absentee)

STEP ONE: Submit an absentee ballot request form

Absentee Ballot Request Receipt Deadline: One Week before Election Day by 5:00 PM

NOTE: Your request form must be received by your county Board of Elections by one week before Election Day at 5 PM (submitted via the online portal, dropped off by hand, or arrived by mail). A postmark of this date will not qualify.

★ PRO-TIP Don’t wait for the deadline — submit your request form as soon as possible.

Submit Your Absentee Ballot Request Online Here

Go to Form

You can also download and print your absentee ballot request form here.

Make sure to complete and sign the form digitally or by hand. Include your phone number in case something you write is hard to read.

Return the form via the online portal or to your County Board of Elections office in person or by mail. Your Ballot Request Form must be received by 5 PM on the Tuesday before Election Day (a postmark will not count to make this deadline).

If you are unable to use the online portal or to download and print an absentee ballot request form, you can request your county board mail a blank form to you.

STEP TWO: Vote your absentee ballot

After you submit an absentee ballot request form, an absentee ballot will be mailed to you.  Mark your absentee ballot in the presence of two witnesses (or one notary public). The witnesses should NOT violate your privacy (i.e., watch your voting choices) while you vote.

Photo ID Requirement: New rules require you to include a photocopy of a photo ID (NC drivers license or other acceptable ID) inside the "photo envelope" that will come with your ballot. If you do not have an acceptable form of ID, you can complete an ID Exception Form and submit it with your ballot.

Once your ballot is completed, do these three things before your return it:

  • Seal the ballot and ID envelope in the return envelope provided.
  • Complete and sign the Absentee Application and Certificate on the return envelope.
  • Have two witnesses (or one notary public) complete and sign the return envelope in the space designated as Witness’s Certification.

Almost anyone over 18 years old can serve as a witness – including a spouse or other family member.

STEP THREE: Return your absentee ballot

Deadline to Submit Your Absentee Ballot: Election Day by 7:30 PM

★ PRO-TIP Don’t wait until the deadline to submit your ballot.  Vote and return it as soon as you receive it.

You have three options to return your ballot in the provided return envelope:

  • Deliver it in person to your county board of elections by 7:30 PM on Election Day,
  • Deliver it to a One-Stop Early Voting site during Early Voting (but NOT your Election Day polling place), or
  • Mail it to your county board of elections. Your absentee ballot must ARRIVE by Election Day at 7:30 PM to count. A postmark date will no longer count.

★ PRO-TIP Only the voter or the voter’s near relative or legal guardian may return your ballot— do not give it to someone else to return.

Tracking Your Absentee Ballot

The NC State Board of Elections offers a tool to track your ballot called Ballottrax. You can track your ballot from when your county board of elections sends it to you through when your completed ballot is received by election officials.
Track my Ballot
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Know your vote counted.

Once your county board of elections receives your ballot, you can find that your vote counted in the “Your Absentee Ballot” section of the voter search database. “Absentee Status” will show “VALID RETURN,” the “Return Method” will be “MAIL” and your “Return Status” will be “ACCEPTED” or “ACCEPTED – CURED”.

Your ballot status will also show up in the “Voter History” section as soon as your county completes the post-election process of assigning voter history to your record. This may take a couple of weeks or longer.

Other Questions?

For the latest on where or how to vote OR if you have trouble voting, call the non-partisan voter assistance hotline at 888-OUR-VOTE.