Voter Registration FAQ
- How can I find out if I am registered?
- What happens after I register to vote?
- Do I just re-register if my information changes?
- Can I register if I’m in jail?
How can I find out if I am registered to vote?
Use the State Board of Elections voter search engine to see if you are on NC’s voter rolls. Type your first and last name as you think they appear on the registration form; don’t include a middle initial or birth year. You can also type part of a name with an asterisk; for example, Kath* will find Kathy, Katherine, Kathleen, Kathryn, etc. Check the box “I’m not a robot” and hit “Search.” Then select the blue name that’s you. If you don’t find yourself, go back and check the box for “Removed or Denied” near the bottom. Keep in mind that it can take a couple of weeks for your information to be added to the registration rolls. If you do not find your name on the rolls after three weeks, or if incorrect information is listed, please contact your county Board of Elections. You can also fill out another form and submit it before the 25 day registration deadline; there’s no penalty for registering twice at the same address.
What happens after I register to vote?
After about two or three weeks, you should receive a voter registration card in the mail with the name and location of your voting precinct and polling place. You do not need to show this card when you vote. If you have not received your card within three weeks of registering, you should call your county Board of Elections and make sure your voter registration form is being processed. You can also search online to see if you are registered.
Do I re-register if my information changes?
To avoid problems when you vote, you should fill out a new voter registration form if:
- You change your address.
- You change your name.
- You change your party affiliation.
To re-register, you can visit your county Board of Elections or download a registration form and mail it in – you can find a list of Board of Elections addresses here. If you are changing your address to a new county, be sure to provide your previous address or at least the old county in section 7 of the registration form, in order to cancel your prior registration. Also fill out this section if you are changing any other information, including your name or your party affiliation.
You may also update your registration during the Early Voting period before Election Day. (You cannot do this on Election Day.) Go to a One-Stop Early Voting site in your county, fill out the registration form, show one of the IDs listed below in the What information do I need to register to vote? section, and then vote! To find a One-Stop Early Voting site in your county, call 1-866-522-4723 or 888-OUR-VOTE.
It helps to change your registration as soon as possible. Your county Board of Elections depends on an accurate count of voters in each precinct to plan staffing – clean voters rolls can mean shorter lines at the polls.
Can I register if I’m in jail?
If you are serving a felony sentence, you cannot register or vote until you have completed the terms of your sentence, including probation and parole. After that, you can register like any other citizen.
If you are in jail awaiting charges or trial, or if you are serving a sentence on misdemeanor charges, you have the right to register and to vote. (You have not lost your citizenship rights.) You should follow the same instructions on registering to vote as anyone else, keeping these special address considerations in mind since you will have to select a mail-in registration option:
- It is important to provide an address where your mail will be accepted and received. If you give an address and your voter card is returned to the Board of Elections as undeliverable, you may not be able to vote.
- If you have a home address where you still receive mail, even if it is in a different county, use that as your residential and mailing address when you fill out the registration form. You will need to mail your registration form to the Board of Elections in that county; this is the same Board where you will send your Absentee Ballot request form when the time comes to vote.
- As an alternative, you can use the jail’s address where you receive mail and mail your completed registration form to the Board of Elections in the same county as the jail; this is the same Board where you will send your Absentee Ballot request form when the time comes to vote.
Your voter card will be mailed to the address that you put down as your mailing address. If you have not received a voting card within three weeks, you can search your registration status online or contact the Board of Elections. You will vote using an Absentee Ballot in the county you mailed your registration form to.