Any registered voter in Brunswick County may vote by absentee ballot. There are three steps to voting by absentee ballot:
- Request your ballot
- Vote your ballot
- Return your ballot
Request Your Ballot
Registered voters in North Carolina must request an absentee ballot with an official N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form. There are two ways to access and submit the form:
- Online with “Option 1 – Request an Absentee Ballot” at the N.C. Absentee Ballot Portal.
- On paper with the 2022 Absentee Request Form:
If not using the portal, the absentee request form must be submitted by mail or in person. The form must be received by the Board of Elections no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 for the primary election.
Mailing Address (for USPS): Brunswick County Board of Elections, PO Box 2, Bolivia, NC, 28422
Delivery Address (for hand delivery and other delivery services such as FedEx and UPS): 75 Stamp Act Dr NE, Building H, Bolivia, NC, 28422
Track Your Ballot
Track your absentee-by-mail ballot through the mail: Once you have requested your absentee ballot, you can track its status from printed to accepted by signing up online for status notifications through BallotTrax.
Detailed Instructions to Vote by Mail
Visit the State Board of Elections website for detailed instructions to vote by mail.
Dates and Deadlines
|March 28, 2022: The date by which the boards of elections must make available absentee ballots, barring any action by the State Board or the courts to postpone that date, under N.C.G.S. 163-227.10(a).|
|April 22, 2022: Civilian voter registration deadline for the 2022 statewide primary.|
|May 10, 2022: Deadline for civilians to submit an absentee ballot request form for the 2022 statewide primary.|
May 17, 2022: Election Day for the 2022 statewide primary
May 17, 2022: Civilian absentee ballot return deadline.
*Absentee ballots that are postmarked on or before election day must be received by Friday, May 20 to be considered timely.
Military and Overseas Voters
The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain voters an expedited means to register and vote by mail-in ballot. Find more information at Military and Overseas Voting.
Accessible Absentee Voting
If you are a blind or visually impaired voter in North Carolina, you can request, mark, and return an accessible absentee ballot online through a system that is compatible with screen readers and that allows for a digital or typed signature. Learn more at Accessible Absentee Voting.
If you live at a facility such as a hospital, clinic, or nursing home, find details about receiving assistance with mail-in voting and other services provided by a multipartisan assistance team (MAT) at Assistance for Voters in Care Facilities.
Absentee Voting FAQ
Do I need an excuse or special circumstance to vote by mail?
No. Any registered voter in North Carolina may vote an absentee ballot by mail.
How do I return my request to the board of elections?
The form may be returned by the voter, the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, or a Multipartisan Assistance Team:
- In-person to the county board of elections;
- By U.S. Postal Service (PO Box 2, Bolivia, NC, 28422);
- DHL, FedEx, or UPS (75 Stamp Act Drive NE, Building H, Bolivia, NC, 28422);
- The State Board of Elections has an online absentee ballot request portal that registered voters can use to request a ballot.
Are absentee by mail ballots automatically sent out to all registered voters?
No. North Carolina voters must request a ballot using the State Absentee Request Form or the online portal.
Can I sign up to always receive a ballot?
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.
What are acceptable ways to include my signature on my absentee ballot request form?
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.
Do I need to include a copy of a photo ID with my absentee request form/ballot?
No. North Carolina voters are not required to provide or show ID until further order of the courts.
Can someone request an absentee ballot for me?
Yes. Your near relative or legal guardian may request a ballot for you. A near relative is: your spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.
Can I request a ballot for my child who is away at college?
Yes. A voter’s near relative may request an absentee ballot if their child is a registered voter. The request form must include all required information, including the voter’s driver’s license number or last four of their Social Security number. The near relative will sign and provide their address, daytime phone number, and relationship to the voter.
Can I pick up my ballot in person or does it have to be mailed to me?
The ballot must be mailed.
What if a voter in a hospital, nursing home or other facility needs assistance voting by mail?
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. To schedule a MAT visit, contact our office at email@example.com or 910-253-2620.
Are organizations allowed to send request forms to voters?
Organizations may send blank Absentee Request Forms to voters but may not pre-fill any part of the forms. Third party groups should include the instructions with the form.
If I’ve received my ballot by mail, may I still vote in person?
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.
Can I vote the ballot and return it to the county board of elections, but change my mind and cancel my ballot and vote on Election Day instead?
No. Once you return your ballot, you may not change or cancel your ballot.
Will I be notified if my absentee ballot is rejected? Will I have a chance to remedy any deficiencies?
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. The State Board encourages voters to carefully read and follow the instructions that come with the ballot. The State Board also encourages 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 the voter is unable to successfully cast an absentee ballot, that voter may still vote during the in-person early voting period or on Election Day.
May I return my friends’ and neighbors’ absentee ballots?
No. You may only return someone’s ballot if they are a near relative. A near relative is: 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.
May another person return my absentee ballot for me?
Yes, but only if that person is 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. County boards of elections keep track of who drops off each absentee ballot.
May two people return their ballots in the same envelope?
No. The returned ballot envelope is specific to each voter and must contain that voter’s ballot.
May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot?
An absentee ballot can be returned in person to the Board of Elections or a one-stop 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. If you are delivering your voted ballot to the Board of Elections office, it must be returned to our office by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
If you drop off a sealed absentee ballot at an early voting site, do you have to wait in line?
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.
May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot to the polls on Election Day?
No. You may return your ballot to any early voting site in the county during the early voting period, but not to your polling place on Election Day.
I heard that if I vote absentee by mail, my vote may not get counted. Is that true?
No. Each eligible voter’s absentee ballot is counted, if it contains all required elements and meets the deadline for return to the county board of elections.
How much does it cost to mail my ballot in?
58 cents (one first-class stamp) or one Forever Stamp
What prevents someone from voting absentee and then voting again in-person?
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.
Will anyone know who I voted for?
No. Ballots remain in the sealed absentee envelope until they have been fully approved by the board. During the counting process, the ballot is removed from the envelope and fed into the tabulator. Ballots are secret by law, and others will not know who you voted for.
What happens when my absentee ballot is received in the board of elections office?
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 processing of the envelopes.
If the required fields (voter signature, witness signature, witness address) 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.
What if I did not sign my ballot?
Our office will notify you in writing within one business day of receipt and you will be sent an affidavit to complete certifying that you signed the envelope.
What if my signature does not match my signature on file?
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:
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, which explains that signature comparison is not permissible for absentee request forms.
What if my witness did not sign or put their address?
The ballot will be spoiled and a new one will be issued to you. The new ballot will contain a notice explaining the action.
Does the board or staff know what the results are as the ballots are scanned during these weekly meetings?
No, the ballots are opened and immediately scanned. The ballots are then immediately placed into a ballot bin, which is sealed using a security seal that has a unique number on it. That number is logged by staff and verified by the board at the end and beginning of each absentee meeting. The results from the scanned ballots are not known until the scanner is closed on election day; we actually program the voting system so it will not allow that to be done until election day.