Absentee Voting

Any registered voter in North Carolina who is qualified to vote in an election can either request and receive a mail-in absentee ballot or vote during Early Voting for any election, whether it is a statewide primary, general election, or special election on constitutional amendments, referendum or bond proposals, or any municipal election in which absentee voting is allowed. No special circumstance or excuse is needed to receive and vote a mail-in absentee ballot.

The absentee public register for an election can be easily accessed. Interested parties can select the election date and view public data regarding absentee voting for that election. For each election, the absentee register is confidential and not a public record until the opening of the polls on Election Day.

  • Current Status: Photo ID Required for Voting
  • Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the 2023 Municipal Elections. Voters will also be asked to show photo ID in the 2024 Primary and General elections.
  • Voters who vote by mail must include a photocopy of an acceptable ID inside the "photo ID envelope" that comes with their ballot. Or they may complete an ID Exception Form with the absentee ballot return envelope. 
  • Most voters will simply show their driver's license, but many other types of ID will be accepted. For a list of acceptable photo IDs, see Voter ID.
  • Voters without a photo ID can get a "No Fee ID Card" from the NCDMV. Voters can also get a free voter ID card from the county board of elections office. Contact the New Hanover County Board of Elections Office at (910) 798-7330 for more information. 
  • For more information about Voter ID in North Carolina visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections Voter ID webpage.