Monday, 26 October 2020 11:12

Absentee ballot request deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday

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RALEIGH — Less than two days remain for voters to request a ballot by mail in the 2020 general election. The absentee ballot request deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27.


Your request must be received by your county board of elections by the deadline. To vote by mail, you must be registered to vote prior to requesting the ballot. “If you want to vote by mail, please request your ballot now,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “But if you miss the request deadline, you can still vote early in person through October 31 or on Election Day, November 3, at your assigned precinct.”

As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, nearly 780,000 North Carolinians had cast their ballot by mail for the Nov. 3 election, about four times more by-mail voters than 2016.

At this time, the best way to request an absentee ballot by mail is through the State Board’s Absentee Ballot Request Portal: https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home.

Voters may also complete an Absentee Ballot Request Form and email, fax or return the form in-person to their county board of elections. Please do not mail the form, as it likely will not arrive by the request deadline.

To track the status of your request and your mail-in ballot, voters may use BallotTrax: https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home.

Also, voters may check to see whether their absentee ballot or in-person early voting ballot was accepted by using the State Board’s Voter Search tool. Enter your first and last names, then find the information in the “Your Absentee Ballot” section. (In North Carolina, all early votes are considered absentee votes.)

If you have requested a ballot but decide you would rather vote in person, you may discard the ballot and vote during early voting or on Election Day. When you vote in person, your mail-in ballot will be spoiled and not counted. You may not vote in person if your mail-in ballot has been accepted.

It’s also very important for anyone who wishes to vote by mail to send or deliver their ballot now to ensure it is received in time.

Voters may return a completed mail-in ballot in three ways:

  • Mail their ballot to their county board of elections. The ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
  • Drop their ballot off at any early voting site in their county. To find early voting sites and hours, use the One-Stop Early Voting Site Search Tool.
  • Drop their ballot off in person at their county board of elections office through 5 p.m. on Election Day.

 For more on voting by mail, visit https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail.