Question Topics

 


Register to vote

Voter Registration


How do I register to vote or update my registration information?
Click the button at right to complete a voter registration application. Print and sign the form, then mail it to the Board of Elections office. Registered voters may use the form to update their name, address and party. Registered voters may also update their registration information by completing the back of their voter card and mailing it to the Board of Elections office.

Wake County Board of Elections
PO Box 695
Raleigh, NC 27602

 

When is the deadline to register to vote in an election?
If mailed, the registration form must be postmarked at least 25 days prior to the election. If hand-delivered, the registration form must be received at the Board of Elections office at least 25 days prior to the election and no later than 5 p.m.

 

Do I need to bring my voter card to the polling place when I vote?
No, you do not need your voter registration card to vote. You will state your name and address (and party affiliation if it is a Primary). Beginning in 2016, photo ID will be required in order to vote.
 

How do I request a copy of my voter card?
There are three ways to request a copy of your voter card.

 

When will I receive my requested voter card?
After your request is received and processed, you should receive your voter card in the mail within two to three weeks.  You may also click on the "View My Voter Info" button to view all the voter registration information that will be on your voter card, including your polling place, precinct number, and voting districts.

 

How do I update the information on my voter card?
Write the changes on the back side of your voter card and mail it to the Board of Elections.  After your card is received and processed, you will receive a new voter card in the mail within two to three weeks.

 

How do I request to cancel the voter registration of a deceased voter?
The Board of Elections removes voters listed on an official list of deceased persons sent by the state each month. In addition, a near relative may submit a written request to remove the voter registration of a deceased voter using the Notice of Deceased Voter form.

What are the eligibility requirements for registering to vote in Wake County?

  1. You must be a United States citizen.
  2. You must be 18 years old or will be at the time of the next general election.
  3. You must be a resident of Wake County, North Carolina, for 30 days before the election in which you intend to vote.
  4. You must not vote in any other county or state after submitting a voter registration application in Wake County. If registered elsewhere, you understand that you are canceling that registration upon becoming registered to vote in Wake County.
  5. You have not been convicted of a felony, or if convicted of a felony, you have completed your sentence, including any probation or parole. (Citizenship and voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of the sentence, but you must re-register. No special document is needed.)

 

Elections and Voting

When are the polls open?
On Election Day, the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
 

How do I know if my voter registration is up to date?
Click the "View My Voter Info" button to confirm the status of your voter registration, find your voting location, and view a sample ballot for the upcoming election. Online voter information is generally updated weekly. You may also call the Wake County Board of Elections office at 919-856-6240.

How do I know where to vote?
Click the "View My Voter Info" button to view your voter registration information, including your assigned polling place.

In addition, the Board of Elections will send you a new voter registration card in the mail when you register to vote, make an address change or information change, or if the Board of Elections assigns you to a new precinct or polling place. Your voting location (polling place) is printed on the card. You are assigned a polling place based on the precinct where you live.

If you do not know where to vote, or if you have moved from the residence address we have on file, don't wait until Election Day! You may experience a delay in voting if your residence address is not up to date or if we have sent mail to your voter registration address that was returned to us by the Postal Service.

 

Where can I find driving directions to my voting place?
View driving directions to your assigned voting place on our Polling Places page.

 

Where can I view a sample ballot?
Near the date of each election, you can view and print a sample ballot by clicking on the "View My Voter Info" button above.

Do I have to show my ID at the polls?
You may be required to show ID the first time you vote in Wake County if you registered by mail and did not provide a valid identification number. Acceptable ID includes the following:

  • A current and valid photo ID
  • A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck, or a government document that shows your name and address as it appears on your voter registration application.

Beginning in 2016, photo ID will be required to vote. View future ID requirements in North Carolina.

How should I vote if I moved within Wake County, but did not send an address change before the election?
If you moved within Wake County more than 30 days prior to an election and failed to notify the Board of Elections, you have two options:

Vote early at an early voting location.

  • Early voting is the easiest and quickest option if you did not update your address. NC General Statutes allow voters to change their address and vote the correct ballot for that updated address when voting at any early voting location.
  • Near the date of the next election, visit www.WakeVotesEarly.com to view a list of early voting sites.

Vote at your new precinct on Election Day.

  • You may be required to vote a provisional ballot. Please give yourself plenty of time to update your information at your new precinct. The process requires additional time to complete the forms necessary to update your information before you can be issued a ballot.

If I go to the wrong polling place may I vote there anyway?
On Election Day, you must vote in your assigned precinct in order to make sure you receive a ballot that contains all races for which you are eligible to vote. If you vote a provisional ballot at any other polling place, your ballot will not be counted. If you think you may not make it to your precinct on Election Day, please consider voting early at an early voting site.

 

What is a municipal election?
A municipal election in Wake County is a nonpartisan election held every two years in odd-numbered years to elect members of a municipality's governing body. There are 13 municipalities whose boundaries lie within Wake County: Angier, Apex, Cary, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon. For more information on the governing bodies of these municipalities, visit the town websites.

 

May I wear a button or T-shirt into my polling place that endorses a particular candidate?
Per Don Wright, General Counsel for the North Carolina State Board of Elections:

A voter may enter a voting place to vote wearing political items as long as they proceed to vote in an orderly and timely manner, and do not attempt to electioneer within the voting place. A voter wearing a T-shirt that states "vote for X," shouts "vote for X," or places his T-shirt in the sight line of voters asking support for "X" is obviously electioneering and will be asked to refrain from the conduct at once and, if they continue, will be removed.

A voter who has a political cap, T-shirt or button and does not electioneer within the polling place will be allowed to vote in a normal manner. A voter wearing a political item does not violate GS 163-166.4. We do not know what the laws of other states provide. You have to contact them.

Don Wright, General Counsel, NC State Board of Elections

§ 163 166.4. Limitation on activity in the voting place and in a buffer zone around it.
(a) Buffer Zone and Adjacent Area for Election Related Activity. – No person or group of persons shall hinder access, harass others, distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election related activity in the voting place or in a buffer zone which shall be prescribed by the county board of elections around the voting place. In determining the dimensions of that buffer zone for each voting place, the county board of elections shall, where practical, set the limit at 50 feet from the door of entrance to the voting place, measured when that door is closed, but in no event shall it set the limit at more than 50 feet or at less than 25 feet. Except as provided in subsection (b), the county board of elections shall also provide an area adjacent to the buffer zone for each voting place in which persons or groups of persons may distribute campaign literature, place political advertising, solicit votes, or otherwise engage in election related activity.
(b) Special Agreements About Election Related Activity. – The Executive Director of the State Board of Elections may grant special permission for a county board of elections to enter into an agreement with the owners or managers of a nonpublic building to use the building as a voting place on the condition that election related activity as described in subsection (a) of this section not be permitted on their property adjacent to the buffer zone, if the Executive Director finds all of the following:
(1) That no other suitable voting place can be secured for the precinct.
(2) That the county board will require the chief judge of the precinct to monitor the grounds around the voting place to ensure that the restriction on election related activity shall apply to all candidates and parties equally.
(3) That the pattern of voting places subject to agreements under this subsection does not disproportionately favor any party, racial or ethnic group, or candidate.
An agreement under this subsection shall be valid for as long as the nonpublic building is used as a voting place.
(c) Notice About Buffer Zone. – No later than 30 days before each election, the county board of elections shall make available to the public the following information concerning each voting place:
(1) The door from which the buffer zone is measured.
(2) The distance the buffer zone extends from that door.
(3) Any available information concerning where political activity, including sign placement, is permitted beyond the buffer zone.
(d) Buffer Zone at One Stop Sites. –The provisions of this section shall apply to one stop voting sites in G.S. 163 227.2, except that the notice in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided no later than 10 days before the opening of one stop voting at the site. (2001 460, s. 3; 2003 365, s. 1; 2007 391, s. 13.)

 

What if I am unable to enter the polling place because of age or physical disability?
You may request an absentee ballot. See below for more information on absentee voting.

If you prefer to vote on Election Day or at an early voting site but are unable to enter the facility, you may vote outside the voting location in your car. This procedure is called "curbside voting." Look for the curbside voting sign near the entrance to the voting place and park there. A precinct election official will assist you in verifying your registration information and bringing you a ballot. If you cannot locate a precinct election official in the parking lot, please ask someone to enter the voting place and inform the election officials that you need assistance.

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 that cannot enter the polling place due to age or physical disability.

May I bring someone with me to provide physical assistance or to help me vote?
The guidelines for voter assistance are listed below:

§ 163-166.8. Assistance to voters.
(a) Any registered voter qualified to vote in the election shall be entitled to assistance with entering and exiting the voting booth and in preparing ballots in accordance with the following rules:
(1) Any voter is entitled to assistance from the voter's spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild, as chosen by the voter.
(2) A voter in any of the following four categories is entitled to assistance from a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or an officer or agent of the voter's union:
a. A voter who, on account of physical disability, is unable to enter the voting booth without assistance.
b. A voter who, on account of physical disability, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance.
c. A voter who, on account of illiteracy, is unable to mark a ballot without assistance.
d. A voter who, on account of blindness, is unable to enter the voting booth or mark a ballot without assistance.
(b) A qualified voter seeking assistance in an election shall, upon arriving at the voting place, request permission from the chief judge to have assistance, stating the reasons. If the chief judge determines that such assistance is appropriate, the chief judge shall ask the voter to point out and identify the person the voter desires to provide such assistance. If the identified person meets the criteria in subsection (a) of this section, the chief judge shall request the person indicated to render the assistance. The chief judge, one of the judges, or one of the assistants may provide aid to the voter if so requested, if the election official is not prohibited by subdivision
(a)(2) of this section. Under no circumstances shall any precinct official be assigned to assist a voter qualified for assistance, who was not specified by the voter.
(c) A person rendering assistance to a voter in an election shall be admitted to the voting booth with the voter being assisted. The State Board of Elections shall promulgate rules governing voter assistance, and those rules shall adhere to the following guidelines:
(1) The person rendering assistance shall not in any manner seek to persuade or induce any voter to cast any vote in any particular way.
(2) The person rendering assistance shall not make or keep any memorandum of anything which occurs within the voting booth.
(3) The person rendering assistance shall not, directly or indirectly, reveal to any person how the assisted voter marked ballots, unless the person rendering assistance is called upon to testify in a judicial proceeding for a violation of the election laws.

I am legally blind. Can someone accompany me in the voting booth?
Yes, you may receive assistance from any person of your choice, except your employer or union agent. Alternately, you may ask one of the precinct election officials to assist you.

May a person possessing my Power of Attorney vote for me?
No. A person in possession of a Power of Attorney for an individual is not permitted to apply for voter registration, to vote in person, or to vote by absentee ballot for the individual. If you cannot make it to the polls, you may request an absentee ballot.

I am registered unaffiliated. May I vote in a primary election?
Party affiliation determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote. If you do not declare a party, you will be registered as Unaffiliated. If you are an Unaffiliated voter, you may choose to vote in the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian or nonpartisan (Judicial) Primary. You may choose only one party's primary. Participating in one of the partisan primaries will not affect your Unaffiliated status.

 

Address Changes

I moved fewer than 30 days before Election Day, and I don’t know where to vote.
If you moved fewer than 30 days before the date of the election, you must vote at your old precinct or at an early voting location.

I moved 30 days or more before Election Day, and don’t know where to vote.
If you updated your address with the Board of Elections, you may go to your new polling place.  Click on the "View My Voter Info" button to find your polling place.

If you did not update your address with the Board of Elections, the easiest and most convenient way to vote is at an early voting location. You may vote on Election Day, but you may be required to vote a provisional ballot.

 

 

Absentee by Mail Voting

I will be away on Election Day. How do I vote by absentee ballot?
Any registered voter in Wake County may request an absentee ballot or may vote at an early voting site. No excuse is required.

How do I request an absentee ballot?
All requests for absentee ballots MUST be made in writing using the approved form.  Click the "Request an Absentee Ballot" button to learn more and view the form.

Where do I mail my completed absentee ballot request form?
Wake County Board of Elections
Attn: Absentee
PO Box 695
Raleigh NC 27602

May someone request an absentee ballot for me?
A voter’s near relative may request an absentee ballot for the voter. In lieu of the voter’s signature, the request must include the requester’s signature, address, daytime phone number, and relationship to the voter.

May I request an absentee ballot by phone or email?
No. Your request must be in writing, signed by the voter or the voter's near relative, using an approved form. Click the Absentee button above to download the form.


The SIGNED request can be:

Mailed to:
Wake County Board of Elections
Attn: Absentee
PO BOX 695
Raleigh NC 27602

Hand-delivered to:
Wake County Board of Elections Office
337 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601 or e-mailed/faxed to the Wake County Board of Elections.

Do I have to request an absentee ballot for each election?
Yes; however, if you are requesting an absentee ballot for a primary, you may simultaneously request that a General Election absentee ballot be sent to you, as well. The absentee ballots will be mailed separately at the appropriate time.

 

When is the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot?
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before an election.

 

When is the deadline for returning an absentee ballot?
The absentee ballot must be received by the Board of Elections office no later than 5 p.m. on the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond elections.

 

What may a person in possession of a Power of Attorney do for an absentee voter?
A person in possession of a Power of Attorney for an individual is not permitted to apply for voter registration, to vote in person, or to vote by absentee ballot for the individual.

 

What is the status of my absentee ballot request?
Visit our Absentee Voting page to learn the status of your absentee request.

 

May another person return my absentee ballot for me?
Yes, if that person is your spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild.

 

May two people return their ballots in the same envelope?
No. The returned ballot envelope is specific to each voter and must contain that voter’s ballot.

 

May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot to the Board of Elections office?
Yes. Your voted absentee ballot must be in the Wake County Board of Elections Office by 5 p.m. on Election Day.

 

May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot to the polls on Election Day?
No. The deadline to return your voted absentee ballot is at 5 p.m. on Election Day.

 

May I vote absentee on Election Day?
No. You must vote in your precinct on Election Day.

 

When will my absentee ballot be counted?
The mail-in absentee ballots are counted at 2 p.m. on Election Day, but the results are not posted until 7:30 p.m., after the closing of the polls on Election Day.

 

I heard that if I vote absentee by mail, my vote may not get counted. Is that true?
NO. Your vote will be counted on Election Day along with the ballots cast in the precincts.

 

Where can I learn more about absentee voting for military and overseas voters?
Visit voting information for military and overseas voters at these websites:

 

Early Voting Sites

Where can I find a list of early voting sites for upcoming elections?
Early voting sites are approved by the Board 2–4 months prior to an election. When the early voting schedule for the upcoming election is finalized, information will be posted at www.WakeVotesEarly.com.

Who may vote at an early voting site?
Any eligible Wake County voter may vote at any Wake County early voting site. All ballot styles are available at every early voting site, so you will receive the same ballot you would receive if you went to your assigned polling place on Election Day.

 

I heard that if I vote absentee by mail or at an early voting site, then my vote may not get counted. Is that true? NO. Your vote will be counted on Election Day along with the ballots cast in the precinct.

May I change my party affiliation at an early voting site?
No. Registered voters must submit changes to party affiliation by the registration deadline (25 days before Election Day). Name or address changes can be processed at early voting sites.