Voting for the 2010 November 2nd General Election will begin Thursday, October 14th. In North Carolina, voters can register as well as vote during an approximately two-week early voting period. North Carolina used same-day registration for the first time during a presidential election in 2008.
NC counties allow what is known as “one-stop absentee voting.” The process is sometimes referred to as “In-Person Registration,” but it is important to recognize that it is not permitted on Election Day itself.
Also, while absentee voting was once reserved only for cases where the voter could not be present to vote at the poll on Election Day, there is no requirement for “excused” voting during the one-stop period.
Friday, October 8 (25 days before the election )is the voter registration deadline for the November 2nd General Election. Registration Forms must be postmarked or delivered in person by 5:00 pm.
Forms that are received by the county board of elections office or postmarked by the deadline are accepted as valid applications for the upcoming election. Forms are available online in both English and Spanish, at public libraries, and at local county Board of Elections offices.
There are several ways for new NC residents or residents who have moved within NC to register or update their registration. The most common for new residents is to register at the Department. of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when getting a driver’s license.
The driver’s license examination offices, located throughout the State, have conducted a successful voter registration program since 1984. A person may complete a voter registration transaction at any driver’s license examination office when conducting official DMV business with that office (applying for or renewing a driver’s license, I.D. card, etc.).
DMV and other state agency voter registration transactions that are completed by the deadline are accepted as valid for the upcoming election. Applicants will be notified by the county board of elections of their precinct and polling place assignments.
Individuals who miss the registration deadline, if qualified, may register in person and then vote at a one-stop voting site in the person’s county of residence during the one-stop absentee voting period, which begins the third Thursday before an election and goes through the last Saturday before an election.
Persons registering to vote must sign a voter declaration attesting that he/she meets the qualifications for voting in NC:
- U.S. citizen.
- Resident of North Carolina and Home County for 30 days before the election.
- Will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
- Not registered or voting in any other county or state.
If previously convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors, rights of citizenship must have been restored. For questions on restoration of voting rights, contact the ACLU of NC in Raleigh. Phone 919-834-3466 in Raleigh or see the website here.
On Election Day you will need to answer questions at the polling place on your current residence / address, but NC does not require photo identification for all voters at this time as some other states do. Newly registered voters who mailed in forms will need an ID.
Under Federal Law all polling places must be accessible. However, in some instances a polling place may be inaccessible and a voter with a disability may utilize another option to cast his or her ballot on Election Day. (See satellite voting, transfer, and curbside voting on the State Board’s web site.)
Polling places will be open at 6:30 am on Nov. 2nd and remain open until 7:30 pm.
For further information on voting or registering to vote, contact the State Board of Elections in Raleigh. Information and brochures in both English and Spanish are available online. You can also check your own registration records to see, if you are currently registered correctly on the web.