In North Carolina, absentee voting is broadly divided into three categories:
- Absentee-by-mail voting
- Military and overseas citizens voting (also called UOCAVA voting)
- Absentee one-stop voting
These processes are all considered absentee, because the voting takes place away from the traditional Election Day precincts.
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. The voter may vote the ballot and return it to the county board of elections by the ballot return deadline.
How to Request an Absentee Ballot
Options to Request an Absentee Ballot by Mail
Who May Request an Absentee Ballot?
- The voter or the voter's near relative (spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, or stepchild) or legal guardian. If you need assistance requesting your ballot due to disability, these restrictions do not apply, and you may ask any person to request your ballot.
Assistance Requesting an Absentee Ballot
- Voters who are blind or disabled, or who cannot read or write may receive assistance in completing the request form.
- If the assistance is provided by someone other than a near relative or legal guardian, that person's name and address must be listed on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.
Returning the Absentee Ballot Request Form
- Completed request forms may only be delivered to the county board of elections by one of the following:
- the voter
- the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian
- a member of a multipartisan assistance team (MAT) Page
- U.S. Postal Service or designated delivery service authorized pursuant to 26 USC. § 7502(f).
- Forms returned by any other person will not be processed.
- A signed and completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form must be received by the county board of elections office no later than 5 pm on the Tuesday prior to the date of the election for which the ballot is being requested.
- Requests that are received after the absentee request deadline will not be deemed timely, regardless of any postmark date.
- Request forms that are delivered by the deadline to the State Board will be considered timely. In the interest of ensuring that county boards of elections are able to promptly process voters' absentee requests, we strongly recommend that forms be submitted to the appropriate county board of elections
A request for absentee ballots is not valid if any of the following apply:
- The completed written request is not on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.
- The written request is completed, partially or in whole, or signed by anyone other than the voter, the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, or a MAT member.
- The written request does not contain all of the required information.
- The completed written request is returned to the county board by someone who is not authorized to return the request.
Copying & Distributing Absentee Ballot Request Forms
- It is permissible to make copies of the Absentee Ballot Request Form for distribution.
- It is not permissible for candidates, campaigns, individuals or groups to create their own absentee ballot request form.
Mail Absentee Requests to:
Moore County Board of Elections
Post Office Box 787
Carthage, NC 28327
Hand Deliver Requests to:
Moore County Board of Elections
700 Pinehurst Avenue
Carthage, NC 28327
Completing the Absentee Ballot Request Form
The following information is required:
- When completing the State Absentee Ballot Request Form the following information is required:
- The name and address of the residence of the voter
- The name and address of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian if that individual is making the request
- The address of the voter to which the application and absentee ballots are to be mailed if different from the residence address of the voter
- One of the following types of identification numbers for the voter:
- North Carolina driver's license
- North Carolina special identification card for non-operators
- last four digits of social security number
- The voter's date of birth.
- The signature of the voter or of the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian, if that individual is making the request
- A clear indicator of the date the election generating the request is to be held
- If a voter who is seeking a ballot for a partisan primary is registered as unaffiliated, the political party in whose primary the voter wishes to participate must be identified. This information enables the board of elections to determine which type of ballot to send to the voter.
Voting the Ballot
- In the presence of one Notary Public or two witnesses, the voter should mark the ballot, or if the voter is unable to mark the ballot, shall cause it to be marked according to the voter's instructions.
- Witnesses should not observe so closely that they are able to see what votes the voter marked. What is required is that the witnesses sees the that the voter is voting the ballot
- The following individuals are prohibited from serving as a witness on an absentee ballot:
- A person who is under 18
- An individual who is a candidate for nomination or election to such office, unless the voter is the candidate's near relative
- Additionally, if the voter is a patient or resident of a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home, the following people are also prohibited from serving as a witness on the absentee ballot:
- An owner, manager, director, employee of the hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home in which the voter is a patient or resident
- An individual who holds any elective office under the United States, this State, or any political subdivision of this State
- An individual who holds any office in a State, congressional district, county, or precinct political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party; provided that a delegate to a convention shall not be considered a party office.
Certification of Witness & Assistants
- The voter's witnesses must, after observing that the voter marking the ballot, complete and sign the envelope in the space designated as Witnesses' Certification. Information required from witnesses: address, printed name and signature (even if the witness is a spouse, the address portion MUST be completed)
- Any person who assisted the voter must sign and date the certificate in the proper place on the envelope.
After Marking the Absentee Ballot
Once the ballot is marked, the voter or a person assisting the voter must:
- Seal the ballot in the container-return envelope and
- Complete the Absentee Application on the ballot container-return envelope.
Returning the Ballot
- For civilian absentee voters, once the Absentee Application and Certificate is fully executed with all relevant signatures, the voted ballot (placed inside the container-return envelope) must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5 pm on Election Day.
- Absentee ballots received after 5 pm on Election Day will be timely only if they are received by mail no later than 5 pm on the third day following the date of the election, and bear a postmark that is dated on or before Election Day.
- The envelope may be mailed or delivered in person to either the county board of elections office or to an open one-stop absentee voting site during the early voting period.
- Only the voter or the voter's near relative may take possession of the absentee ballot for purposes of returning the ballot to the board of elections.
One-stop absentee voting (commonly known as "early voting") allows any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in person on select days prior to Election Day. One-stop voting begins on the third Thursday prior to Election Day and ends on the last Saturday before the election. The location for One-stop Voting is either in the County Board of Elections office, or an in lieu of site, if the County Board office is not equipped to handle in-person voting. County Boards of Elections may also designate additional one-stop sites in various other parts of the county.
One-Stop site Locations will be announced upon approval of the One-Stop plan submitted by the County Board of Elections to the State Board of Elections for each election.
At a One-Stop location registered voters may change their name or address. Also, unregistered citizens may register and vote during the One-Stop period. See more information on Same Day Registration.
Absent uniformed services members (and their eligible dependents) and U.S. citizens living outside of the United States may request an absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). This federal act and its corresponding law in this state allows uniformed service members and overseas citizens who are absent from their county of residence in North Carolina to request, receive and return an absentee ballot under special rights.