Voter Resources

How do I register to vote?

What are the qualifications I must have to register in my county and to vote in county, state and federal elections?

According to the NC State Board of Elections (copied from the back of the Voter Registration Form):

  • You must be a United States citizen.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age or you will be 18 years of age before the date of the next general election and you are voting in the primary, or
  • You must be between the ages of 16 or 17 and desire to preregister to vote.
  • You must have resided in North Carolina and in the precinct in which you present to vote for at least 30 days prior to the election.
  • You must not be currently serving a felony sentence. If previously convicted of a felony, you must have fully completed your sentence, including probation and/or parole. No special document is required.
Where do I get a Registration Form and what do I do with it?

To register to vote, you may complete and download a printable voter registration form online or obtain a voter registration form from the Carteret County Board of Elections Office, public libraries, high schools and college admissions offices. You may turn in your completed registration form and register to vote at any DMV office or at the Carteret County Board of Elections.

Voter Registration Form

What is the deadline to register?

The deadline to register is 25 days before the election. Voter registration forms that are received by the Carteret County Board of Elections Office or postmarked by the deadline are accepted as valid applications for the upcoming elections. You may vote in person on election day, during early voting or by mail via an absentee ballot.

How do I register for the first time?

You must mail or deliver the NC Voter Registration Application ( in person with your original signature if you are registering for the first time in Carteret County. The application should be taken to the:

Carteret County Board of Elections
1702 Live Oak St, Suite 200
Beaufort, NC 28516.

If you have more questions, you may check their website:

Carteret County Board of Elections Website

How do I change my name on the registered voter roll?

Use the NC Voter Registration Form ( to change your name, address or party affiliation on the registered voter roll. The application must be signed and sent to the Carteret County Board of Elections by the voter registration deadline which is 25 days before the election. You may fax or email a scanned image of your signed application. Within 2-6 weeks you will receive a new voter identification card reflecting your changes.

What is same day registration?

Same day registration happens during Early Voting. You may register to vote and vote on the same day during that time period. You must show an NC Driver’s License or ID Card, or a statement showing you name and address such as a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck stub or other government document.

How do I find out if I am already registered?

If you do not remember it you are registered to vote or in what county you are registered, you may check “My Voter Registration Information” on the Carteret County Board of Elections website. If you registered recently, your information may not be listed for a few weeks. If your voter registration is incorrect please contact the Carteret County Board of Elections at their Website or email them at: You may also check the NC State Board of Elections website by doing a “Voter Lookup”.

Voter Look-up

What are absentee and early voting?

Absentee Voting

What is absentee Voting?

If you are a registered voter and will be unable to get to your assigned voting place on Election Day, you may request an absentee ballot by mail. No excuse is needed to vote by absentee. When ballots are available, one will be mailed to you, you vote and return the ballot as instructed.

How does absentee voting work?

To request an absentee ballot, complete the State Absentee Ballot Request Form available on the State Board of Elections website. You can view or print the form by clicking here.

A completed State Absentee Ballot Request Form may be mailed, faxed or scanned and then emailed to the Carteret County Board of Elections. Their contact information is:

1702 Live Oak St., Suite 200
Beaufort, NC 28516

The form may only be signed by the voter or a voter’s near relative or legal guardian. A near relative is considered to be a spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent or stepchild of the voter. When ballots are available, the county will mail the absentee balloting materials to persons who submit valid requests.

What types of identification are required for a civilian Absentee Ballot?

In addition to a completed request form, one of the following types of information to identify the voter must also be provided:

  • NC Driver’s license or non-operator’s ID card number;
  • The last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number; or
  • A copy of one of the following documents that shows name and address: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.
What if I will be out of the country on Election Day?

Members of the military (or their spouses or dependents) who are absent from their counties of residence and US citizens who are outside of the United States during the election may request an absentee ballot.

Use the State Absentee Ballot Request Form here to request an absentee ballot. There is a section on the form that permits military or overseas citizens to qualify for special voting rights under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

Federal Postcard Application (FPCA), available at The FPCA is also a voter registration application.

Early Voting

What is Early Voting?

You’ll also hear this referred to as one-stop early voting. It is actually absentee voting in person because you go to a voting place, request, receive and vote the “absentee” ballot all at the same time. Instead of waiting to vote on Election Day, you have the opportunity to vote early.

How does Early Voting work and where do I vote?

Early, or One-Stop, Voting begins on the third Thursday prior to the date of an election and ends on the last Saturday before Election Day. Voting hours are usually Monday though Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm. In Carteret County there are three sites where you may vote during Early Voting:

Carteret County Board of Elections in Beaufort
1702 Live Oak St, Suite 200
Beaufort, NC 18516

Ft. Benjamin Park
100 McQueen Blvd
Newport, NC 28570

Western Park Community Center
275 Old Highway 58
Cedar Point, NC 28584

Where do I vote on Election Day?

You vote at your precinct polling place in the county in which you are registered for all elections including municipal, local, state and federal.

What are precincts?

All of Carteret County is divided into precincts. Most precincts have one place to vote, called a polling place, for all the registered voters in that precinct. Your address determines your precinct. Most Precincts have a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman elected by Republicans in that precinct. These officers are elected during the annual Carteret County Precinct Meeting. Vacancies may be filled by vote of the Executive Committee. These Precinct Officers are part of the Carteret County GOP Executive Committee which meets on the second Tuesday of each month.

What precinct am I in?

If you do not know what precinct you are in or where you vote, you may refer to the map included here which identifies each precinct in the county. You can look up your precinct and polling place by typing in your address on the NC Board of Elections website. If the link below does not work, please go to the NC State Board of Elections website. Under “Voter Tools” on the home page click on “Polling Place Lookup” and type in your home address. You will see your polling place, its address and the precinct in which you live.

Precinct Look-up on the NC Board of Elections Website

There is a list of all Carteret County polling locations listed by precinct on the Carteret County Government website on the Board of Elections page at

Precinct Map

What happens if I can’t be at my assigned polling place on Election Day?

If you are not at the correct polling site on Election Day and did not request an Absentee Ballot or take advantage of Early Voting, you can still cast a ballot. It will be a Provisional Ballot.

What is a Provisional Ballot?

Provisional voting ensures that you can cast a ballot even if there are unanticipated questions about eligibility. If your name can’t be located on the voter rolls or you encounter another problem including not being able to get to your assigned polling place, you can cast a Provisional Ballot. The ballot is set aside and researched. Election results are not finalized your Provisional Ballot is counted.

What can I expect on Election Day at the polls?

What do I take to the polls?

Currently, according to North Carolina State Law, you do not have to show a Driver’s License or any other form of ID UNLESS it is your FIRST TIME voting in this county.

The federal Help America Vote Act mandates that all states require identification from first-time voters who register to vote by mail and have not provided verification of their identification at the time of registration. If it is your first time voting, you will be asked for the ID number that you put on your registration form. That number would be your Driver’s License number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If this number can not be verified, you will be asked to show a Photo ID or another document showing your name and current address. For example, a utility bill, bank statement, pay stub or other government document could be used.

What will I see at the polling places?
Outside - Electioneering

Obviously, it’s an election so the area around the polls will be covered with political signs! Also, there will most likely be people present outside your polling place supporting their candidates, even in terrible weather. What they are doing is referred to as Electioneering or campaigning and there are restrictions as to what they can do. They may speak to you and hand out literature about candidates they support. They may hand you a list of candidates for whom they want you to vote. They may not go beyond the “buffer zone” established by the Carteret County Board of Elections. This zone is marked by yellow line or yellow campaign tape typically 50 feet, but at least 25 feet, from the front entrance to the polls. There is no electioneering or political signage allowed in this restricted area.

Curbside voting

Every voting site will offer curbside voting in a designated area, to allow voters with disabilities to cast their vote while remaining in a vehicle. If curbside voting is located outside of the “buffer zone”, then electioneering restrictions will be in place to ensure the privacy of curbside voters.

Inside the Polling Place

There are election workers trained and assigned with specific tasks including checking you in, handing you a ballot, answering your questions about anything polling related and monitoring the equipment. There is a Chief Judge who is in charge of what happens on Election Day at his/her polling site. Once you have a ballot, proceed to a private booth to mark your choices. You cast your ballot by placing it in the voting machine. Then you get your “I voted” sticker!

Election Observers

Some of the workers inside may be Election Observers. They are associated with a political party and are there to detect and deter voter fraud. While they are associated with a political party, inside the polls they may not participate in any campaigning or attempt to influence voters. They usually stand or sit near the check-in table.

Complaints or Issues

Any issue or complaint relating to a voting site should first be brought to the attention of the polling place’s Chief Judge (or, in the case of a One-Stop early voting site, manager of the voting site). If the issue cannot be resolved by the election official at the voting site, contact your county board of elections office.

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