Any registered voter in Brunswick County may vote by absentee ballot. There are three steps to voting by absentee ballot:
- Request a ballot
- Vote the ballot
- Return the ballot
Requesting an Absentee Ballot
To receive a mail-in absentee ballot for an election, a voter or the voter’s near 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 must use the State Absentee Ballot Request Form to request the ballot.
When completing the State Absentee Ballot Request Form the following information is required:
- The name and address of the residence of the voter
- The voter’s date of birth.
- One of the following types of identification numbers for the voter:
- North Carolina driver’s license
- North Carolina special identification card for non-operators
- last four digits of social security number
- The permanent mailing address of the voter, if different than their residential street address
- Optional – email address and phone number in case of questions or concerns with the request
- The address where the voter would like the absentee ballot mailed
- A clear indicator of the date the election generating the request is to be held
- If a voter who is seeking a ballot for a partisan primary is registered as unaffiliated, the political party in whose primary the voter wishes to participate must be identified. This information enables the board of elections to determine which type of ballot to send to the voter.
- The name and address of the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request
- The signature of the voter or of the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian, if that individual is making the request
Returning the Request Form
For the November 2020 General Election, completed State Absentee Ballot Request Forms may be emailed, faxed or hand-delivered to the county board of elections by one of the following:
- the voter
- the voter’s near relative or verifiable legal guardian
- a member of a multipartisan assistance team (MAT)
Completed request forms may also be delivered to the county board of elections by the U.S. Postal Service or designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7502(f).
Forms returned by any other person will not be processed.
A signed and completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form must be received by the county board of elections office no later than 5:00 PM on the 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.
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
A new absentee ballot request must be submitted for each election. The law allows annual absentee ballot requests only if there is a sickness or physical disability.
Voting an Absentee Ballot
In the presence of one witness who is at least 18 years old, 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
The voter’s witness must, after observing that the voter marking the ballot, complete and sign the envelope in the space designated as Witness Certification
Any person who assisted the voter must sign and date the certificate in the proper place on the envelope.
Returning an Absentee Ballot
- Once the return envelope 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 or to an open one-stop absentee voting site during the early voting period.
- The envelope may not be delivered to any voting location on Election Day.
- 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.
Uniformed and Overseas Voters
There are certain processes and opportunities available to uniformed (military) and U.S. citizens residing overseas (whether temporarily or indefinitely) which facilitate their ability to more quickly request, receive, and return absentee ballots. If you, or someone you know, would qualify as a uniformed or overseas voter and you would like to vote, it is to your advantage to look into these opportunities.
Please visit either of the following websites:
- NCSBOE Military and Overseas Voting
- The Overseas Vote Foundation
- The Federal Voting Assistance Program