Voter registration deadline, Oct. 13

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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The clock is winding down for those wishing to cast ballots in local municipal elections.

Under state law, the regular voter registration deadline is 25 days before an election. That means this Friday, Oct. 13, is the deadline. All local Boards of Elections offices are open until 5 p.m. that day.

The municipal election is Nov. 7.

To be eligible to vote in a municipal election, you must be a resident of that town or city. Working at a place of employment within city, town, or village limits does not make a voter eligible to vote in municipal elections.

Similarly, while a voter’s postal address may indicate a municipality, that does not always mean their residence is within the incorporated boundaries of the municipality.

If you are seeking to register to vote in time for the municipal elections, you can contact your county board of elections to determine whether your residential address is within the incorporated boundaries of a municipality.

“Elections officials encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote and cast ballots in this year’s municipal elections,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Those elected in 2023 will serve in the government closest to you – your city, town, or village governing board. Their decisions about local matters like sidewalks, zoning, water, sewer, and police and fire services directly affect your community”

Eligible individuals who miss the regular registration deadlines may register and vote at the same time during the in-person early voting period at any early voting site in their county, if early voting is available in their municipality.

One-Stop early voting begins Oct. 19 and runs through Nov. 4. Check with your county Board of Elections for times and dates.

Eligible individuals have many options to register to vote, including the following:

If the individual has a North Carolina’s driver’s license or other NCDMV identification, they may submit a voter registration application online. Learn more at Complete Your Registration Online Through the DMV. Eligible individuals may also register in person at DMV offices.

Eligible individuals may also register to vote when applying for services at a number of state agencies. Learn more at National Voter Registration Act.

Any eligible resident can complete a Voter Registration Application in English or Spanish on paper and return it to their county board of elections office by 5 p.m. the day of the deadline.

If an application is received after the deadline, it will be timely if it is postmarked on or before the deadline date. If the postmark is missing or unclear, the application will be processed if it is received in the mail no later than 20 days before the election. Otherwise, the application will not be processed until after the election.

If submitted by fax or e-mail, the application must be received by 5 p.m. on the deadline date, and a hard copy of the document must be delivered to the county board office by 20 days before the election.

North Carolina residents may not register to vote on Election Day, unless they become eligible after the registration deadline due to becoming a U.S. citizen or having their rights restored following a felony conviction.

To register to vote, a person must:

Be a U.S. citizen;

Live in the town/city of their registration, and will have lived there for at least 30 days before Election Day;

Be at least 18 years old by the date of the general election (16- and 17-year-olds may preregister to vote); and

Not be serving a felony sentence, including any period of probation, post-release supervision, or parole.

Voters who need to update their existing voter registration may use the DMV website or a regular voter registration application.

Those with a North Carolina driver’s license or other DMV identification may update their residential or mailing address and party affiliation through the DMV online service but may not change their name through that service.

If using the paper application to update a registration, it must be signed and mailed to the voter’s county board of elections by the registration deadline. Updates to name, address (if within the city/town), and party affiliation must be signed, but can be provided by fax or email to your county board of elections. If a voter is using the paper form to update their residential address to a new county, they must return the paper form by mail or in person.

Registered voters may also update an existing registration at an early voting site during the early voting period.