North Carolina absentee and mail ballot guide
North Carolina absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
North Carolina absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): 7 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (by mail): Received 7 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 7 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
North Carolina absentee ballot rules
Any registered North Carolina voter may request an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
North Carolina online ballot request (recommended)
- Visit the North Carolina absentee ballot website.
- Fill out all of the required information.
- Hit save or submit when you are done.
- The deadline to apply online is 7 days before Election Day .
North Carolina by-mail ballot request
- Download the North Carolina absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- Your application must be received 7 days before Election Day .
North Carolina in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is 7 days before Election Day .
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day .
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day .
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
North Carolina absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot:
You must include your North Carolina driver's license number, state ID number, or the last 4 digits of your social security number on your absentee ballot application. The signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot:
Your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
North Carolina absentee ballot tracker
Track your ballot here: North Carolina absentee ballot tracker
North Carolina absentee ballot curing
Ballot curing is the process of resolving any problems with your absentee or mail ballot to ensure that your vote is counted. After tracking your ballot, contact your local election office to fix any issues that have been noted.
- Your ballot will be rejected if you forget to sign it or if the signature does not match the one that the state has on file for you.
- Your ballot will be rejected if it doesn't include a witness signature, or if your witness did not clearly print their name and address.
- You must make corrections by 5:00 pm on the 9th day after Election Day for your vote to count.
North Carolina emergency ballots
Some states have special procedures that allow you to obtain an emergency ballot if a medical or other emergency occurs after the standard absentee ballot application window.Emergency Ballot Rules
If after 5PM on the Tuesday before Election Day you are ill or physically disabled and unable to vote in person on Election Day, you, your close relative, or your guardian may request an absentee ballot on your behalf. The request must be submitted before 5PM 1 day before Election Day.
- Emergency ballot request starts 5PM Tuesday before Election Day
- Emergency ballot request ends 5PM 1 day before Election Day
- Emergency ballot return deadline is 5PM Election Day
Contact your local election office
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for North Carolina elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
State Board of Elections P.O. Box 27255 Raleigh, NC 27611‐7255
- North Carolina online voter registration
- North Carolina online absentee ballot request
- North Carolina voter status lookup
- North Carolina absentee ballot tracker
- North Carolina provisional ballot tracker
- North Carolina polling place locator
- North Carolina early voting information
- North Carolina absentee ballot information
- North Carolina voter registration information
- North Carolina voter ID information
- North Carolina student voter information
- North Carolina voting rights restoration for voters with felony convictions
- North Carolina election code