Election season begins as absentee ballots go out

Published 11:28 am Friday, September 9, 2022

North Carolina’s county boards of elections began mailing absentee ballots on Friday to voters who request them for the 2022 general election.

This signals the start of voting for this midterm election. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Contests in this election include a U.S. Senate seat, all 14 U.S. House seats, two seats on the N.C. Supreme Court, four seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals, all 170 seats in the NC General Assembly and many judicial and local seats across the state.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 53,000 N.C. voters had requested an absentee ballot for the general election. More than 7.35 million voters are registered in the state.

Sample ballots are available through the State Board’s Voter Search tool. Voters should locate their voter record and scroll down to the

“Your Sample Ballot” section. (Note: Sample ballots are posted by county as soon as they are available.)

County Boards of Elections are busy registering new voters, preparing ballots, testing voting equipment, hiring and training poll workers and preparing early voting sites and Election Day precincts, among many other responsibilities.

“We encourage all eligible North Carolinians to register to vote and to make a plan now about when and where they will cast their ballot in 2022,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Your state and county elections officials are here to provide accurate information to help you safely and securely exercise your right to vote. We will make sure your vote counts.”

How to Request a Ballot

In North Carolina, all registered voters may request an absentee-by-mail ballot. Voters may do so:

• Online at the N.C. Absentee Ballot Portal. On the portal, select “Option 1 — Request an Absentee Ballot.”

• On paper using the English N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form for 2022 (fillable PDF) or the Spanish N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form for 2022 (fillable PDF).

• Voters requesting a ballot must provide their date of birth and one of the following to verify their identity:

• North Carolina driver’s license number or NCDMV-issued identification card number; or

• Last four digits of Social Security number.

The request form must be signed by either the voter or the voter’s near relative, legal guardian, or person assisting the voter due to a disability.

A typed signature is not allowed.

The paper absentee ballot request form can be mailed or returned in person to your county board of elections. County board of elections must receive the completed and signed absentee request form by 5 p.m. Nov. 1.

For more information, see Vote By Mail and Detailed Instructions to Vote By Mail.

Also starting Friday, the absentee ballot portal opened for military and overseas voters, as well as visually impaired voters, to receive and return their absentee ballot through the online service. See North Carolina Absentee Ballot Portal. Also see Military and Overseas Voting.

For more information on the security of absentee voting, see Statement About Absentee Ballot Security in North Carolina.

Important Dates and Deadlines: 2022 General Election

• Sept. 13: State Board meets to adopt early voting sites and schedules for more than a dozen counties that have not confirmed those schedules yet.

• Oct. 14: Regular voter registration deadline for voters who want to vote on Election Day.

• Oct. 20: One-stop, in-person early voting begins. Eligible individuals may register and vote at any one-stop early voting site in their county.

• Nov. 1: Absentee ballot request deadline. The State Board encourages voters to request their absentee ballot as early as possible to ensure enough time to complete and return the ballot.

• Nov. 5: In-person early voting and registration ends at 3 p.m.

• Nov. 8: Election Day. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Voters should go to their designated Election Day polling place. Find your polling place through the Voter Search tool. Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. Nov. 8 must be postmarked by Election Day and received by mail by 5 p.m. Nov. 14. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Nov. 8.

• Nov. 18: County canvass day; results are certified at the county level.

• Nov. 29: State canvass day; final results are certified statewide.