How do I register to vote or update my registration information?
Click on the Voter Registration Application button below. Complete and sign the form. Then, submit it to the Board of Elections office. Registered voters may use the form to update their name, address and party affiliation. 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.
Completed registration forms can be submitted in the following ways:
Wake County Board of Elections
PO Box 695
Raleigh, NC 27602
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) requires certain agencies in this state to offer voter registration services when at these locations for agency services. These agencies include:
- North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV)
- Public Assistance Agencies
- Departments of Social Services (DSS)
- Departments of Public Health (WIC)
- Disability Services Agencies
- Vocational Rehabilitation offices
- Departments of Services for the Blind
- Departments of Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- Departments of Mental Health Services
- Wake County Public Libraries
NC DMV Customer Online Voter Registration
If you are a DMV customer with a N.C. driver’s license or DMV-issued ID, you may now register to vote or change certain parts of your registration online using the DMV Online Portal.
This is a standalone service that does not require the user to complete a DMV transaction (such as duplicate or license renewal). There is no fee for voter registration services.
By using this service, existing DMV customers may register to vote, update their voter registration address, or update their party affiliation. They may not change their name.
Applications submitted after the voter registration deadline will not be processed until after the election. The voter registration deadline is 25 days prior to each election. You may still register to vote in person using same-day registration in your county during the early voting period.
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, faxed or emailed, the registration form must be received at the Board of Elections Office by 5 p.m. at least 25 days prior to the election.
If you missed the deadline to register, you can register and vote at the same time at any early voting location. Click to view early voting information and Frequently Asked Questions.
How do I request a copy of my voter card?
There are three ways to request a copy of your voter card.
- Send an email that lists your full name, date of birth, registered address, and a statement that you are requesting a voter card.
- Call the Board of Elections office.
- Request a card in person at the Board of Elections office.
Note: Voter cards are not printed on-site. Please allow two to three weeks to receive your card in the mail.
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 "My Voter Info" button to view all the voter registration information that will be on your voter card, including your polling place, precinct number, voting districts and sample ballot, when available.
How do I update the information on my voter card?
Write the changes on the backside 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 the cancellation of a deceased voter's registration?
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 or by using the Notice of Deceased Voter form.
What are the eligibility requirements for registering to vote in Wake County?
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must be 18 years old or will be at the time of the next general election.
- You must be a resident of Wake County, North Carolina, for 30 days before the election in which you intend to vote.
- 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.
- You must not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction.
What are the eligibility requirements for people in the criminal justice system?
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor you do not lose your right to vote. To register to vote, you must not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction. View information on registering as a person in the NC Criminal Justice System.
Compensation of Individuals Registering Voters and Copying of Voter Registration Forms. Session Law 2018-13 (Senate Bill 486)
(a) Class 2 Misdemeanors. — Any person who shall, in connection with any primary or election in this State, do any of the acts and things declared in this subsection to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. It shall be unlawful to do any of the following:
(15) For any person to be compensated based on the number of forms submitted for assisting persons in registering to vote.
(16) For any person who is not an elections official or who is not otherwise authorized by law to retain a registrant's signature, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth, or the identity of the public agency at which the registrant registered under G.S. 163‑82.20, any electronic mail address submitted under Article 7A of this Chapter, or drivers license number from any form described in G.S.163‑82.3 after submission of the form to the county board of elections or elections official.
Elections & 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 "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 919-404-4040.
How do I know where to vote?
Click the "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 "My Voter Info" button.
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 vote in your assigned precinct in order to make sure you receive a ballot that contains all contests for which you are eligible to vote. If you do not vote in your correct precinct on Election Day, you must vote a provisional ballot. If you think you may not make it to your precinct on Election Day, please consider voting early at an Early Voting site or absentee by mail.
Early Voting information can be found at www.WakeVotesEarly.com.
What are the laws concerning the use of electronic devices such as video, cameras, cellphones, texting, phone calls, etc.?
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 14 municipalities whose boundaries lie within Wake County: Angier, Apex, Cary, Durham, 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.
Am I eligible to vote in a municipal election?
Municipal elections are available only to voters who live in that municipality. With the Voter Search tool, registered voters can determine if they live in an area that conducts municipal elections by identifying a municipality detail under "Your Jurisdictions." Registered voters will also be able to find their sample ballot(s) with any eligible contest(s) posted to their Voter Search profile closer to the election date(s).
May I wear a button or T-shirt into my polling place that endorses a particular candidate?
A voter may enter a polling 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.
Is there an area or zone around the voting place where candidates and groups can not campaign?
The guidelines for election related activity are below:
§ 163 - 166.4. Limitation on activity in the voting place and in a buffer zone around it.
(a) Buffer Zone. – 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.
(b) Area for Election-Related Activity. – Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, 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.
(c) Special Agreements About Election-Related Activity. – The Executive Director of the State Board 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 (b) 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.
(d) Notice About Buffer Zone and Area for Election-Related Activity. – 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.
(e) Buffer Zone and Area for Election-Related Activity at One-Stop Sites. – Except as modified in this subsection, the provisions of this section shall apply to one-stop voting sites in G.S. 163-227.2, 163-227.5, 163-227.6.
(1) Subsection (c) of this section shall not apply.
(2) The notice in subsection (d) 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; 2008-187, s. 33(a); 2009-541, s. 22(a); 2017-6, s. 3.)
§ 163-166.3. Limited access to the voting enclosure.
(a) Persons Who May Enter Voting Enclosure. - During the time allowed for voting in the voting place, only the following persons may enter the voting enclosure:
(1) An election official.
(2) An observer appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45.
(3) A runner appointed pursuant to G.S. 163-45, but only to the extent necessary to announce that runner's presence and to receive the voter list as provided in G.S. 163-45.
(4) A person seeking to vote in that voting place on that day but only while in the process of voting or seeking to vote.
(5) A voter in that precinct while entering or explaining a challenge pursuant to G.S. 163-87 or G.S. 163-88.
(6) A person authorized under G.S. 163-166.8 to assist a voter but, except as provided in subdivision (7) of this section, only while assisting that voter.
(7) Minor children of the voter under the age of 18, or minor children under the age of 18 in the care of the voter, but only while accompanying the voter and while under the control of the voter.
(8) Persons conducting or participating in a simulated election within the voting place or voting enclosure, if that simulated election is approved by the county board of elections.
(9) Any other person determined by election officials to have an urgent need to enter the voting enclosure but only to the extent necessary to address that need.
What if I am unable to enter the polling place because of age or physical disability?
You may request an absentee ballot. See the Absentee by Mail Voting FAQs section below for more information on absentee by mail 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 vehicle. This procedure is called "curbside voting." Look for the curbside voting sign near the entrance to the voting place and park there.
An election official will assist you in verifying your registration information and bringing you a ballot. If you cannot locate an 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 cannot enter the polling place or Early Voting site 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 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. (2001-460, s. 3; 2017-6, s. 3.)
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 an election official 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 polling place or Early Voting site, 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, or Libertarian Party Primary (or nonpartisan ballot if available). You may choose only one party's primary. Participating in one of the partisan primaries will not affect your unaffiliated status.
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. Click on the "My Voter Info" button to view your polling place.
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 "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
May any registered Wake County Voter vote absentee by mail?
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.
Can I still use the paper request form instead of the portal?
Where do I return my completed absentee ballot request form?
Mail your form to:
Wake County Board of Elections
PO Box 695
Raleigh, NC 27602
Deliver your form in-person to:
Wake County Board of Elections Operations Center
1200 N. New Hope Road
Raleigh, NC 27610
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.
A near relative includes: parent, spouse, brother, sister, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild. A person with Power of Attorney for the voter is NOT considered a near relative.
May I request an absentee ballot by phone or email?
No. An absentee ballot request must be made in writing on the approved form, signed by the voter or the voter's near relative.
Do I have to request an absentee ballot for each election?
Yes. However, if you have a continuous or expected illness or disability, you may request an absentee ballot be sent to you for all elections that you are eligible for in that calendar year. The absentee ballots will be mailed separately at the appropriate time.
On the absentee ballot return envelope for a primary election, you will have the opportunity to request a ballot for the 2nd Primary if you are eligible.
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.
If I request an absentee ballot, can I change my mind and vote in person?
Requesting an absentee ballot will not prevent you from voting in person during Early Voting or on Election Day. If you do choose to vote in person, please trash or destroy your absentee ballot; do not return it to the Board of Elections.
Why is my request not showing on the NC Voter Lookup search?
Absentee ballot requests do not appear on the NC Voter Search tool on our website because they are considered confidential information. Voters can contact the Board of Elections regarding the status of their absentee ballot request.
When is the deadline for returning an absentee ballot?
An absentee ballot shall be counted as timely if it is either (1) received by the County Board of Elections office no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day; or (2) the ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. three days after the election.
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.
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, stepchild, or legal guardian, they may return it to the Wake County Board of Elections Office.
If hand-delivering, it must be logged in when delivered. Dropboxes are not permitted under North Carolina Law.
What is the postage needed to return my ballot by mail?
One first-class stamp or one forever stamp.
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.
If hand-delivering, it must be logged in when delivered. Dropboxes are not permitted under North Carolina Law.
May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot to an Early Voting location?
Yes. You must stand in line with the rest of the voters until you get inside. Once inside you must go to the registration/check-in table. You will hand your voted absentee ballot, sealed in the return envelope, to the elections official and will be required to fill out an absentee ballot return log. Once logged, you will exit through the same exit as the other voters exiting. This is the safest way for both voters and election officials.
If hand-delivering, it must be logged in when delivered. Dropboxes are not permitted under North Carolina law.
May I hand-deliver my voted absentee ballot to an Election Day polling place?
No. Hand-delivered absentee ballots may be submitted to the Board of Elections Office and must be received by the 5 p.m. deadline on or before Election Day.
May I mail my ballot to the Wake County Board of Elections on Election Day?
Yes. If you mail it close to Election Day please make sure you take it to the post office and have them postmark it in front of you.
When will my absentee ballot be counted?
The mail-in absentee ballots are counted at 2:00 p.m. on Election Day, but the results are not posted until after the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. 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?
Still have questions or need to know where to send your documents?
Early Voting Sites
View Early Voting information and Frequently Asked Questions at: