10 tips for voting on Election Day

Published 9:33 am Saturday, March 2, 2024

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RALEIGH – The 2024 primary election in North Carolina is Tuesday, March 5.

The following are 10 tips for Election Day voters:

1)    Know the rules for a primary election. Primaries are elections used to determine each political party’s nominees who will advance to the general election in November. In a partisan primary, voters affiliated with a political party may only vote their party’s ballot and may not vote in another party’s primary. Unaffiliated voters may choose any one political party’s ballot or a nonpartisan ballot, if available in their jurisdiction. There are Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian primaries in our state this year. An unaffiliated voter may choose to participate in one of these party primaries, while a voter who is registered as a Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian will receive their party’s ballot.

2)    Go to your assigned polling place on Election Day. Statewide, nearly 2,600 polling places will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters in line at 7:30 p.m. will be able to cast a ballot.

3)    Find your sample ballot. Voters can use the State Board’s Voter Search tool to locate their sample ballot. The ballot shows the contests that you’ll be voting on. Using Voter Search, pull up your voter record, then scroll down to the “Your Sample Ballot” section.

4)    Bring your photo ID. You will be asked to show photo ID at your polling place when you check in to vote. Most voters will simply show their driver’s license, but there are many other acceptable photo IDs. For more information, including the full list of acceptable IDs, visit BringItNC.com. Voters who do not have photo ID when they vote can make sure their vote counts by either (1) filling out a form explaining why they are unable to show ID, or (2) showing their ID at their county board of elections office by 5 p.m. March 14, the ninth day after the election.

5)    Voters may not register on Election Day in North Carolina. While that is the general rule, voters who become eligible after the regular voter registration deadline, either due to becoming a U.S. citizen or having their rights restored following a felony conviction, are still permitted to register on Election Day.

6)    If you need assistance, request it at your polling place. Curbside voting is available for voters who are unable to enter the voting place without assistance due to age or disability. Once inside the polling place, voters who experience difficulties should request help from an election worker. For more information, see the Help for Voters with Disabilities page.

7)    State and federal laws forbid intimidation or interference with voters. This includes hindering access to the voting place, whether inside or outside the voting site. It is also a crime to interfere with election officials carrying out their duties. Penalties for violations include prison time, a fine, or both. The State Board takes these incidents very seriously. When they occur, we will work with our law enforcement partners to respond. Voters who are harassed or intimidated should notify an election official immediately.

8)    Election results will be posted at the State Board’s Election Results Dashboard. See also the Election Night Reporting Timeline for information on when the public can expect unofficial results on election night.

9)    If you still plan to vote an absentee ballot, act fast. The deadline to have your ballot delivered to the county board of elections is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Election Day. If you are unsure that the postal service or another delivery service will deliver your ballot by Tuesday, you can instead drop it off at your county board of elections office during business hours, or at an early voting site through 3 p.m. Saturday, when early voting ends. Or you can decide to vote in person on Election Day, and discard your absentee ballot.

10) If you’re participating in the election – as a voter, poll worker, observer, or campaigner – please treat others with dignity and respect. We know the political climate in our country is tense. But let’s make North Carolina a model for accessible, safe, secure, and accurate elections.