AARP AARP States North Carolina Voters

How to Vote in North Carolina's 2022 Elections

En español | North Carolina’s Nov. 8 general election will decide races for the U.S. Senate and House, the General Assembly and several state high courts. The state's primary was May 17.

Essential info:

  • Absentee-by-mail voting: This option is available to all registered voters. 
  • Early in-person voting: To avoid long lines on Election Day, consider voting between Thursday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Nov. 5. 
  • In-person voting on Election Day: The state’s general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

What's new this year?

North Carolina gained one seat in the U.S. House, as determined by population growth in the 2020 census. The new 14th District includes portions of Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Also, a redistricting plan has changed certain boundaries of some state legislative and U.S. congressional districts and may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. 

US-VOTE-NORTH CAROLINA
Voters walk to a polling place to cast their ballots in Charlotte.
GRANT BALDWIN/AFP via Getty Images

What races are on the ballot and who's running?

  • U.S. Senate: Cheri Beasley (D), Ted Budd (R)
  • U.S. House: all 14 seats
  • General Assembly: all 50 state Senate and 120 state House members

For more information on races and candidates, including the Raleigh municipal elections, view the state’s sample ballots.

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: If you have a driver’s license or an ID issued by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, you can register to vote and update your registration address or party affiliation through the DMV’s online voter registration service.   

The deadline to register to vote is 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14. If you miss a voter registration deadline, you can register and vote at the same time during in-person early voting only — but not on Election Day.

You can check your registration status by using the voter search tool

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Registered voters can request absentee ballots through a state board of elections online portal or by downloading an absentee ballot request form online. You also can call your county board of elections office to request a form, pick one up at any county board of elections office or the state board of elections office, or have someone pick up or print out a form for you. A close relative (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent or stepchild) or legal guardian can also complete and submit the form on your behalf.

Absentee ballot request forms must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Once you receive your absentee ballot, you need two witnesses or one notary public to be present when you fill it out. Their job is not to see how you vote but rather to confirm that it is you marking the ballot.  

There are several ways you can submit a completed absentee ballot

  • By mail: Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14. Mail your ballot early to make sure it arrives on time. 

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes. Simply register with BallotTrax, and you’ll be able to check on your ballot’s status. The state employs technology to prevent anyone from voting twice. 
  

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, at early voting sites. Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election will begin on Thursday, Oct. 20, and end on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 3 p.m.

Unlike Election Day, when voters must go to their assigned precinct, voters can vote early at any early voting site in their county. Early voting locations and hours can be found on the board of elections website.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Curbside voting will be available at polling locations for older voters and for voters with physical or mental disabilities. 

On Election Day, you must vote at your designated precinct. Find your polling place by logging in to the voter search tool or by using the polling place search tool.

Do I need identification to vote?

A state voter photo ID law was deemed unconstitutional by a North Carolina superior court, so there are no photo ID requirements to vote, although the legal battle may continue. In the meantime, the state's absentee ballot request form requires a date of birth and a number from a North Carolina driver’s license or DMV ID card, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Sept. 29, 2022, with a link to sample ballots. The guide was first published on July 15, 2020.

Also of Interest:

  • Follow AARP's political coverage at aarp.org/elections  
  • Keep up with local events and AARP advocacy efforts at aarp.org/nc
  • Text NCVOTES to 22777 to receive a one-time text message with a link to North Carolina voter information. Message and data rates may apply. Terms apply: https://aarp.info/tcady
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