September is National Voter Registration Month! Election Day may still be weeks away, but now is the time to act to ensure your voice is heard this November.
Verify that your voter registration information is up to date via the North Carolina State Board of Elections Voter Search. There you can also see your sample ballot, election day polling place, and voting history, among other details.
If you’re not registered to vote in North Carolina, or if your address or name has changed since the last time you voted, fill out a voter registration application. You can do this online through the Division of Motor Vehicles if you have a valid North Carolina ID and know your full social security number.
If you cannot complete the form online, you can request an application be mailed to you. It will come with a stamped envelope addressed to your county’s board of elections. Completed voter applications, whether online or by mail, must be received by October 9 to be valid for this year’s elections.
Alternatively, you can utilize same-day voter registration at any of the 32 early voting sites in Mecklenburg County from October 15–31. You will need to provide proof of residency, so bring one of the following documents that shows your current name and address:
- North Carolina driver’s license
- Any government-issued photo ID
- A current utility bill, bank statement, or paycheck
Once your voter registration is up to date, you are eligible to vote. You have three options:
- Vote in person on Election Day (November 3). Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Find your polling place here.
- Vote in person at an early voting site between October 15 and October 31. Find addresses and hours for all 33 sites in Mecklenburg County here.
- Vote by mail, aka absentee ballot, from now until Election Day. You may request a ballot be mailed to you by following the steps listed below. No special reason is required. You are strongly encouraged to request a ballot as soon as possible to avoid potential delays.
How to Vote by Mail:
Request the ballot in one of the following ways:
- Request the form online via the Absentee Ballot Request Portal by October 27.
- Print a copy from the state board of election’s website.
- Request the ballot from the county board of elections by email, fax, mail, or in person:
Mecklenburg County Board of Elections
Physical Address: 741 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 202
Charlotte, NC 28204
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31788
Charlotte, NC 28231
Email: [email protected]
- Complete the ballot in the presence of one witness and place it in the return envelope.
- Complete and sign the outside of the return envelope. Have your witness complete and sign the witness certification section. If someone helped you complete the ballot, that person must fill out the voter assistant certification portion.
- Return the ballot. Only you, your legal guardian or close relative can return your ballot. Here are the options:
- Mail to the county board of elections (mailing address above), postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3) and received by 5:00 p.m. on November 6
- Send by courier service such as UPS or FedEx
- Deliver in person to the county board of elections (physical address above) by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day (November 3)
- Drop off in person at any early voting site in your county during voting hours
Whichever option you choose – Election Day, early voting, or absentee ballot – be sure to understand the steps involved and make a plan to follow through.
In a year fraught with uncertainty and turmoil, it’s important to focus on what is within our control. One positive step we can all take is to ensure our votes are counted in 2020.
More details and FAQs available here from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
You Can Vote, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting democracy in North Carolina, provides voter registration and education resources via their Voting FAQ: When, Where, and How? guide.
The League of Women Voters offers their nonpartisan “Election Information You Need” at vote411.org.