How to Vote by Mail
More people are voting by mail for the 2020 Election than ever before due to COVID-19.
You can request a mail-in ballot online in north Carolina.
The registration deadline for mail-in voting was October 9, 2020.
Check out the information below to learn how to vote by mail using an absentee ballot. There are more restrictions for receiving assistance and who can help you mark your ballot, or witness your vote if you live in a facility. The last tab, “Voting from a Facility,” covers how to get help with voting if you live in a facility.
Use the links below to get more information on each Mail-In Ballot topic.
You can make your request in two ways:
If you need help filling out the form, you can ask a close family member to make the request for you. If you aren’t able to download and print the form, call the NC Board of Elections or County Board of Elections to send you one.
If you live in a facility and need help requesting a mail in ballot, call the Board of Elections to request a multipartisan assistance team (MAT) visit.
Once you are ready to vote, you will need to find a witness to be present while you mark your ballot. Your witness should see that you mark your ballot, but not how you vote. Anyone over the age of 18 can serve as a witness except for a candidate, unless that person is a near relative. (If you live in a facility, the rules are different for you. See the tab below “Voting from a Facility.”
You can also ask someone to help you mark your ballot if you need to for your disability. This person can be any person you choose, unless you live in a facility (see below). No one should tell you how to vote.
It is extremely important that you fill out the ballot exactly as instructed. If you do not wish to select a candidate for an office, leave it blank.
Do not select more than one candidate for each office; your vote will not be counted.
Double check that you have followed all the rules for absentee voting:
- You have one witness.*
- That witness is a near relative or legal guardian.
- You signed your name and info on the back of the return envelope.
- Your witness signed the back of the return envelope in the witness section.
- If your witness also helped you complete your ballot, they also signed the required information on the return envelope AND the witness section.
*For this election only, you only need to have one witness.
Return your Absentee Ballot by mail.
Return your ballot by mail by November 3, 2020 by 5 pm.
- Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 3, 2020 and received by Nov. 6 2020. If you put your ballot in a USPS drop box the day of the election, it might not be picked up until the following day, and your vote will not count.
- We strongly recommend you return your ballot as soon as possible, and no later than Oct. 27, to make sure it arrives on time.
- If you have a disability and need help mailing your ballot you can ask a near relative to take your sealed envelope to the closest USPS drop box / mailbox. That person must sign the Voter Assistance Certification on the back of the envelope.
People who can NOT mail your ballot
- A candidate for election in any office unless they are your near relative or legal guardian.
- The owner, manager, director or employee of a hospital, clinic, nursing home, or rest home where you live.
- Anyone who holds any federal, state, or state elective office.
- Anyone who works in a political party or organization, or who is a campaign manager or treasurer for any candidate or political party.
Return your Absentee Ballot in Person
- You can return your ballot to your county board of elections office, or to a one stop early voting site.
- You cannot return your ballot to a polling place on election day.
You can track the status of your mail-in ballot here.
People in facilities face strict limitations on who may provide necessary assistance to cast an absentee ballot. If you do not have a near relative to help you request a ballot or to serve as a witness when you cast your vote, you will need to ask your facility to schedule a multipartisan assistance team (MAT) visit. MAT is a team of two people from two different parties trained to help you vote. They are the only other people besides near family members who can help you vote from a facility. You can also request a MAT visit yourself by calling your county board office. The people who work in your facility are not allowed to help you.
If you request a MAT visit and there are none available in your county or they are not available to visit your facility, call DRNC’s voter hotline at 888-WEVOTE2.