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No, a new absentee ballot request must be submitted for each election. The law does allow for annual absentee ballot requests only if there is a sickness or physical disability.
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No. Any registered voter in North Carolina may vote an absentee ballot by mail by submitting a North Carolina Absentee Request Form (PDF) or submitting a request via the online absentee ballot request portal.
Yes. The law allows a near relative or legal guardian to request a ballot for you. A near relative is defined as a spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild. Any person may request an absentee ballot for a voter who needs assistance due to a disability.
When requesting a ballot for another voter that will not be mailed to their residential address, the address must be entered in the ‘Other’ address line. Only the voter is allowed to change their residential and/or mailing address.
A wet ink signature is not required for an absentee ballot request. However, the signature must be unique to the voter and must be readable. Voters may use a pen, or their finger, stylus, or mouse for the signature if they have the capability. Voters may not use a service such as DocuSign that inserts a typed or cursive font signature that is not made by the voter.
No, photo ID is not needed for you to request a ballot.
You will be required to provide a copy of an eligible photo ID with your voted ballot, or if you are unable to provide a copy of a photo ID, complete and return the Photo ID Exception form which comes inside your ballot packet.
Organizations may send blank absentee request forms. These forms are likely valid forms if they do not have any pre-filled information. If you receive an absentee ballot request form that you did not request and you do not want to vote an absentee ballot, you can simply recycle the unsolicited mail.
The form may be returned by the voter, the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, a Multipartisan Assistance Team, or if the voter needs assistance due to a disability, any person may return the request form, according to the voter's instruction:
By law, the ballot must be mailed.
Any registered voter may request assistance from a Multipartisan Assistance Team (MAT). A MAT is a group appointed by a county board of elections to assist voters in facilities with mail-in absentee voting. Complete this form to request a Multipartisan Assistance Team visit to your facility.
A voter who needs assistance due to a disability and is a patient or resident in a covered facility may receive assistance from any person they choose, including the staff of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home where they are a patient or resident.
Yes. You may still vote in person as long as you did not return your absentee ballot. Your absentee ballot will be spoiled after you vote in person. The unused absentee ballot should be torn in half and recycled. It does not need to be returned to the board of elections.
No. The returned ballot envelope is specific to each voter and must contain that voter’s ballot.
You may only return someone's ballot if they are a near relative. A near relative is defined as your spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, or legal guardian. Any person may return the ballot, according to the voter's instruction, if they need assistance due to a disability.
An absentee ballot can be returned in person to the board of elections office or to an in-person early voting location by the voter or the voter's near relative. When a ballot is delivered in person, it must be logged by an election official.
On Election Day, ballots may only be hand-delivered to the board of elections office. The ballot must be received by 7:30 pm on election day.
No, you do not have to wait in line. Inform a precinct official that you are there to return an absentee ballot and they will escort you to the Help Desk.
Postage for the return ballot is $1.63.
County Boards of Elections will contact voters when there are deficiencies with their absentee ballot. You should provide your phone number or email address on the request form in case the county board needs to contact you.
We encourage voters to carefully read and follow the instructions that come with the ballot. We also encourage voters to request and return their absentee ballot as early as possible to ensure time remains to correct any issues. If an issue arises and you are unable to successfully cast an absentee ballot, you may still vote during the in-person early voting period or on Election Day.
If someone has voted an absentee ballot and then shows up to vote in person, the check-in system will alert the poll worker that the person has already voted.
The record of an absentee ballot request, as well as the actual absentee ballot, are attached to the voter's record. If a voter submits multiple absentee ballot request forms, they will still only receive one ballot because both requests are attached to a single voter record. Once a voted absentee ballot is returned, it is recorded on the voter's record. The record of a returned ballot is reflected on the poll book at one-stop early voting locations as well as on election day. If a voter appears that has already cast an absentee ballot, their record will indicate such, and the voter will not be issued a regular ballot.
Trained county board staff review each executed container-return envelope the office receives to determine if there are any deficiencies. The initial review is conducted by staff to expedite the processing of the envelopes.
If the required fields (voter signature, witness signature/address or notary information) are completed on the envelope, the ballot is tentatively approved and held until the next board meeting when the board will officially approve the ballot. The ballots are then opened and scanned into a tabulator. Once scanned, the ballots are sealed in locked security bins. The results from the scanned ballots are not known until the scanner is closed on election day. Ballots are secret by law and others will not know who you voted for.
No. Once your voted ballot has been accepted by the board of elections, you may not change or cancel your ballot.
The law does not require that the voter's signature on the envelope be compared with the voter's signature in their registration record. See the excerpt below from Numbered Memo 2021-03 (PDF):
County boards shall accept the voter's signature on the container-return envelope if it appears to be made by the voter, meaning the signature on the envelope appears to be the name of the voter and not some other person. Absent clear evidence to the contrary, the county board shall presume that the voter's signature is that of the voter, even if the signature is illegible. A voter may sign their signature or make their mark.
The law does not require that the voter's signature on the envelope be compared with the voter's signature in their registration record. Verification of the voter's identity is completed through the witness requirement. See also Numbered Memo 2020-15 (PDF), which explains that signature comparison is not permissible for absentee request forms.