Absentee Voting by Mail

The rules for requesting an absentee ballot and submitting your ballot have changed for 2014. Any registered North Carolina voter can request a mail-in absentee ballot. This type of absentee voting allows a voter or a near relative or legal guardian to request that an absentee ballot be sent to the voter by mail.  Your absentee mail ballot must be signed by two witnesses or notarized.

How do I request an Absentee Ballot?

If you are a registered voter, you, a near relative, or your legal guardian can request a mail-in absentee ballot by using the State Absentee Ballot Request Form. The form must be signed, and received by the County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday (7 days) before the election for which the ballot is requested.  A signed and completed request form may be mailed, faxed, emailed, or delivered in person to the County Board of Elections. You must send in Absentee Ballot Request Form for each election you wish to vote by mail in, and it can be made as early as 50 days before the election.

When completing the form, you or your requestor must sign and provide your name, residential address, date of birth, and an identification number for the voter (i.e., NC DMV Driver’s License number, NC DMV identification card number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number). If you do not have either of those numbers, you may provide a copy of one of the following with your request:   a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.  Your requestor must also provide their name and residential address on the form. You must also provide the mailing address where you want your ballot mailed to, if different than your registered address.

(“Near relative” means spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, father/mother-in-law, son/daughter-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.)

Receiving the ballot

If a valid request is received  no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday prior to the election, the County Board of Elections will mail the absentee ballot materials to the voter as the absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available 50 days prior to a statewide primary, 60 days prior to the statewide general election, or 30 days prior to municipal elections.

Your Absentee Ballot materials will include:

  • a blank official absentee ballot,
  • absentee voting instructions, and
  • the Absentee Application and Certificate on the back of the return ballot envelope.

Voting an Absentee Ballot by Mail

You must fill out your mail ballot in the presence of two witnesses OR a notary, seal your voted ballot in the return envelope, and then complete the Absentee Application and Certificate on the back of the return envelop. The two witnesses (or notary) must complete and sign the envelope under “Witnesses’ Certification.”  Witnesses must be 18 years old and not candidates in the election. Your vote will still be private. Make sure all parts of the form on the envelop are filled out, including your signature.

You must return your properly witnessed and signed Absentee Ballot to your County Board of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the Election. You may also send in your ballot by mail if it is postmarked by the date of the election and it arrives no later than 3 days later. Or you (or your near relative) may deliver your ballot to an Early Voting location or the County Board of Elections office.

Additional information: