BRUNSWICK COUNTY VOTING FAQS
View our most commonly asked questions about voting in Brunswick County.
Am I registered to vote?
Check your registration.
How do I register to vote?
You can register to vote in-person at the County Board of Election office or you can fill out a form and return it to us.
Mail your form to: Brunswick County Board of Elections
PO Box 2
Bolivia, NC 28422
View more details on voter registration (including other locations to pick up forms).
Can my registration form be submitted online?
Registration forms for name and address changes within the county can be submitted by fax (910-253-2618) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). An original form is needed for all other changes as well as new registrations.
When is the deadline to register?
You must be registered to vote 25 days prior to the election – Friday, February 7, 2020 for the primary election. This is also the deadline for party changes. Mailed forms must be postmarked by this date.
If I miss the voter registration deadline, can I register and vote the same day?
Yes. If a resident has lived in Brunswick County for 30 days prior to the election and misses the voter registration deadline, they may go to any one-stop early voting site to register and vote the same day. The individual will be required to provide acceptable proof of residence before they can become registered. The Notice to Same Day Registrants provides more details, including a list of acceptable proof of residence documents. Same day registration is only available during one-stop early voting; it is not available on election day.
If I am registered unaffiliated, can I vote in the Primary?
Yes. Unaffiliated voters in North Carolina may vote in primary elections. Unaffiliated voters may choose to participate in any recognized party’s partisan primary, or they may request a non-partisan ballot. However, the voter must choose only one party’s primary. Participating in a partisan primary will not affect your status as an unaffiliated voter. The partisan choice does carry over to a second primary if one is called. If you request a non-partisan ballot, you will only vote for those contests that are non-partisan (i.e. judicial contests, referenda, etc.). The Constitution and Green parties do not permit unaffiliated voters to vote in their primaries.
How do I change my party?
Party changes can be made on your voter registration card or using the Voter Registration Form.
I am not yet 18, when can I register to vote?
Voter registration applicants between the ages of 16 and 17, although they are not qualified by age to vote, may preregister to vote. To preregister to vote, applicants must indicate on their voter registration application that they are at least 16 years of age and understand that they must be 18 years of age on or before election day to vote. Any preregistrant must be registered once they reach the age of eligibility. At that time, their county board of elections shall process the person’s application.
How do I remove my registration or that of a deceased person?
To remove your own registration, use the Voter Registration Cancellation form and return it to our office.
To remove a voter due to death, please download and complete the Notification of Deceased Voter Form. This form may only be completed by a near relative or personal representative of the deceased voter’s estate.
Either of these forms can be returned to our office via mail, faxed to (910)253-2618 or by email to email@example.com.
Elections and Voting
Can I vote early?
Yes! You can vote early for the 2020 primary election at selected one-stop early voting locations. Thursday, February 13 through Saturday, February 29. One Stop schedule
Do I need photo ID to vote?
Voters will be asked to show photo ID beginning in 2020. More information can be found on the State Board of Elections website.
How does absentee voting work?
A voter fills out the State Absentee Ballot Request Form to request an absentee ballot. The request may be returned by mail, faxed to (910)253-2618 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Once received and processed by the Board of Elections, a ballot is then mailed to the voter. The ballot packet includes a ballot, instructions for marking and returning it, along with a return envelope.Absentee ballots for the Primary Election will be available beginning Friday, Monday, January 13, 2020. We must receive your request for an absentee ballot by Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 5 p.m. Hand delivered ballots must be received in our office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before March 3, 2020 and received by Friday, March 13. View more details.
Can I sign up to always be mailed 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.
How do I know what contests and candidates are on the ballot?
Once sample ballots are available for an election, you can find yours by looking up your voter record. You can also obtain a copy of your sample ballot on our website or by calling our office and asking that we mail one to you. You may mark your sample ballot ahead of time and carry it into the voting booth with you.
What if I go to the wrong precinct on Election Day?
On election day, you vote in your assigned precinct to ensure you receive a ballot that contains all races for which you are eligible. If you do not go to your correct precinct, you will have to vote on a provisional ballot. It is recommended that voters check where they should go vote prior to election day by looking up their voter record.
What is provisional voting?
A provisional ballot is offered to voters when there are questions about:
- a voter’s qualification to vote,
- the voter’s eligibility to vote in a given election, or
- the voter’s eligibility to vote a specific ballot style.
Provisional voting is a mechanism by which a citizen is guaranteed the opportunity to cast a ballot in the event that such questions have been raised. In that case, the citizen is permitted to cast a provisional ballot, which is held aside pending research into the issue to be resolved. Findings are presented to the county board members, who make final determinations. Election results are not finalized until all provisional ballots that are eligible have been included in the total count.
Provisional voting is fail-safe voting. State law mandates that each person who presents to vote be given that opportunity, whether by regular or provisional ballot. In no circumstance will a voter be turned away.
Can I wear my candidates shirt or hat when I go vote?
Yes. Voters in the act of voting may wear political attire when in the act of voting. Once the act of voting is complete voters should exit the polling place immediately and remain outside the buffer zone.
What is the buffer zone?
The buffer zone is an area surrounding the entrance to the polling place inside which electioneering and loitering may not occur. The buffer zone is set anywhere from 25-50 feet surrounding the entrance and will be clearly marked at each polling place.
What if I am unable to enter the polling place due to age or physical disability?
In any election, if any voter is able to travel to the voting place, but because of age or physical disability and physical barriers encountered at the voting place is unable to enter the voting enclosure to vote in person without physical assistance, that voter will be allowed to vote in the vehicle conveying that voter.
Curbside voting is available at all voting sites during the one-stop absentee voting period and on election day. Voting sites will have signage indicating curbside voting and will also have a curbside alert system. An election official will come to the vehicle to obtain the voter’s name and address. Before a ballot is issued to a curbside voter, the voter must swear an oath affirming his or her qualification to use curbside voting.
I plan to bring a voter to vote curbside. May I sit in the car and vote curbside, too?
The same rules apply to both the driver and passengers. All persons wishing to vote curbside must sign an affidavit stating they cannot enter the polling place due to age or physical disability.
Can someone help me cast my ballot?
North Carolina law allows for any voter to receive assistance in entering or exiting a voting booth as well as preparing a ballot, as long as the person providing assistance is a member of the voter’s immediate family. N.C. law defines an immediate family member as one of the following: spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, mother- or father-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, stepparent or stepchild.
The law further stipulates that some voters can receive aid from a wider range of helpers. If a voter satisfies any of the conditions below, they are eligible to receive help from any person of their choice, with the exception of the voter’s employer or union representative, or an agent thereof. Those are:
- a voter who, on account of physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without assistance
- a voter who, on account of physical disability, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance
- a voter who, on account of illiteracy, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance
- a voter who, on account of blindness, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark a ballot without assistance
Any voter who qualifies for and requests assistance while voting at a One-Stop (early) voting site is entitled to the same assistance as voters who vote on Election Day.