Voting in Person
Voting on Election Day
On Election Day, as a registered voter, you must:
- Report to your designated Election Day precinct. The name, location, and, address of your Election Day precinct may be found by checking your record using the Voter Lookup Tool, referring to the registration card mailed to you when you registered, or by calling the Board of Elections office at (910) 253-2620. Due to the heavy call volume on Election Day, it is advised to call and inquire about your voting location prior to Election Day itself.
- Go to the check in station and state your name and residential address. If it is a primary election, unaffiliated voters must also state in which party’s primary they would like to participate. For more information about unaffiliated voters and primary elections, please refer to the Type of Elections section of this website.
- Sign an Authorization to Vote (ATV) document certifying that you are a US citizen, are not in jail or prison for a felony conviction, your address is current, and you have not already voted.
- After signing, you will be directed to the ballot station where you will exchange the ATV form for a ballot.
- Once the ballot is received, you will be directed to a voting booth and mark it with the pen provided inside the booth.
- Once the ballot is marked, you will be directed to a scanner where you will insert the ballot. You know your ballot has been cast when you see the American flag wave on the scanner screen.
Voting at a One-Stop Early Voting Site
One-stop early voting is very similar to voting on election day. One difference is that during early voting, you can go to any open voting location in the county whereas on election day you must go to your assigned polling place. Another difference is that during early voting, someone that missed the voter registration deadline can register and vote on the same day. Same day registration is not available on election day. Learn more about early voting on our one-stop early voting page.
Assistance to Voters
Any voter, regardless of whether they have a disability, may receive assistance from a near relative.
A voter whose disability prevents him or her from entering the voting booth or marking a ballot without assistance, or a voter who is illiterate, may get help from any person, except for the voter’s employer or agent of that employer or an officer or agent of the voter’s union.
Additional information on assistance to voters can be found on the State Board of Elections website.
In any election or referendum, if any qualified 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 shall be allowed to vote either in the vehicle conveying that voter or in the immediate proximity of the voting place…” NCGS 163-166.9
Voting in Person FAQ
Can I wear my candidate paraphernalia 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.
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.