Absentee & 1-Stop Early Voting Information

Voting Absentee

Any person who is registered to vote in North Carolina can vote an absentee-by-mail ballot or at a One-Stop voting site in their county during the designated absentee voting periods before the day of the Election. This is known as Absentee Voting.  

Absentee Voting (absentee-by-mail, UOCAVA (Military/Overseas) and One-Stop Early Voting) is allowed in all elections, except the Municipal Elections for the Town of Bridgeton, Town of Cove City, Town of Dover, Town of River Bend, Town of Trent Woods, Town of Vanceboro and First Craven Water District. The City of Havelock and the City of New Bern are currently the only municipalities that allow absentee voting and same day registration during their municipal elections.

Absentee -by-Mail Voting

Who may Request an Absentee-by-mail ballot?   A registered voter or the voter’s near relative (spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild) may request an absentee ballot to be mailed during an election by requesting an absentee-by-mail ballot on the required State Absentee Ballot Request Form (link to NCSBE) or State Absentee Ballot Request PDF   for each specific election.  No excuse is needed to vote absentee. The request form has to be fully completed and signed by the registered voter or a "near relative" of the voter requesting the ballot. An absentee-by-mail request has to be made for each election a voter wants an absentee ballot.
By law, a "Power of Attorney" is not allowed to sign for the voter. The voter must make his/her mark or signature on the request or signed by the allowed near relative in the proper section on the request form.
Assistance Requesting an Absentee by Mail Ballot:
-Voters who are blind or disabled, or who cannot read or write may receive assistance in completing the request form.
-If the assistance is provided by someone other than a near relative or legal guardian, that person’s name and address must be listed on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.
Returning the State Absentee Ballot Request Form:
-Completed request forms may only be delivered to the county board of elections by one of the following:
1. the voter;  2.  the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian;  3.  a member of a multi-partisan assistance team (MAT);  
4.  U.S. Postal Service or designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f).
Forms returned by any other person or means listed will not be processedForms cannot be faxed or emailed.
DEADLINE for Requesting an Absentee by mail Ballot:  A signed and completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form must be received by your county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday prior to the date of the election for which the ballot is being requested. Requests that are received after the absentee request deadline will not be deemed timely, regardless of any postmark date. Once the request is received and contains all required information and received timely, the request will be processed and the balloting materials will be mailed to the registered voter.
2020 Deadlines for Requesting an Absentee Ballot
November General Election: Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by 5 p.m.
     Voters should be cautious to allow adequate time for the request to be processed and the ballot to be mailed. The Board of Elections will begin mailing ballots 50 days prior to Election Day for Primaries and General Elections and 30 days prior to Municipal Elections. Again, it is in the best interest of the voter to submit a request for an absentee-by-mail ballot as early as possible.
Voting/Returning Absentee-by-mail Ballot:
Obtain witnesses/Mark Ballot: In the presence of two witnesses (or one witness if the witness is a Notary Public), the voter should mark the ballot, or if the voter is unable to mark the ballot, shall cause it to be marked according to the voter’s instructions. (A witness should not observe so closely that they are able to see what votes the voter marked. What is required is that the witness sees the that the voter is voting the ballot.)  Prohibited witnesses:  1.  A person who is under 18; 2.  An individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office, unless the voter is the candidate’s near relative; 3.  Additionally, if the voter is a patient or resident of a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home, the following people are also prohibited from serving as a witness on the absentee ballot: a.  An owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident; b.  An individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State; c. An individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office.  Certification of Witnesses & Assistants:  1.  The voter’s two witnesses must, after observing that the voter marking the ballot, complete and sign the envelope in the space designated as Witnesses’ Certification; 2.  If a voter used the services of a Notary Public as a sole witness, the notary will sign the Notary-Witness Certification. A notary is not permitted to charge a fee for witnessing an absentee ballot. G.S. § 10B-30; 3. Any person who assisted the voter must sign and date the certificate in the proper place on the envelope. After Marking the Ballot:  Once the ballot is marked, the voter or a person assisting the voter must:  1) seal the ballot and document in the container-return envelope and 2) complete the Absentee Application and Certificate on the ballot container-return envelope. Return the Voted Ballot:  For civilian absentee voters, once the Absentee Application and Certificate is fully executed with all relevant signatures, the voted ballot (placed inside the container-return envelope) must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5:00 PM on Election Day. Absentee ballots received after 5:00 PM on Election Day will be timely only if they are received by mail no later than 5:00 PM on the third day following the date of the election, and bear a postmark that is dated on or before Election Day. The envelope may be mailed or delivered in person to either the county board of elections office. Only the voter or the voter’s near relative may take possession of the absentee ballot for purposes of returning the ballot to the board of elections.

Military/Overseas Voters

Military/Overseas Voters (UOCAVA) can go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website to access the proper form for requesting absentee voting materials. Requests are only good for one calendar year. Access the Federal Postcard Application form (PDF) here Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline Version OptionsAbsentee & 1-Stop Early Voting InformationHeadline.  Note that ballot requests are valid only for one calendar year.

One-Stop Absentee Voting (Early Voting)

One-Stop Absentee (Early) Voting is in-person voting and is available beginning the 3rd Thursday before and ending on the last Saturday at 3 pm before Election Day. Times are determined by the County Board of Elections and approved by the State Board of Elections before each election.      EMERGENCY PLAN ONE-STOP


November 3, 2020 General Election
One-Stop Early Voting Schedule  




updates are around 4 am the morning following- ex. Feb. 13 voters will update Feb. 14 around 4 am.


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