Early voting begins for 2024 Primary Election in North Carolina

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Thursday, February 15, 2024
Early voting begins for 2024 Primary Election in North Carolina
Super Tuesday is just around the corner for voters but you don't have to wait to cast your ballot.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Super Tuesday is just around the corner for voters but you don't have to wait to cast your ballot.

North Carolina's one-stop early voting period for the March 2024 primary election runs from Thursday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, March 2.

Unlike on Election Day, early voting is offered only at select sites, so be prepared for the possibility of long lines. Lines are historically shortest on the first days of early voting, according to Wake County officials. The busiest times are around lunchtime on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays and the last three days of the early voting period.

Who can you vote for?

This is a presidential election year, but there are also several other big races on the ballot -- including U.S. House of Representatives, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and many more. Counties and municipalities across the state also have important offices up for a vote.

March's election is the primary for the November election when all of those races will ultimately be decided. So your vote in this round will determine which candidates ultimately make it onto the ballot in November.

Voters can only cast their ballot in one primary election. For example, a registered Republican will only be allowed to vote on the Republican primary ballot. A registered Democrat will only be allowed to vote on the Democratic primary ballot.

However, the largest voting block in North Carolina is Unaffiliated voters. As of Feb. 10, there were 2,415,335 registered Democrats, 2,241,040 registered Republicans and 2,748,390 registered Unaffiliated.

Unaffiliated voters in North Carolina may choose to vote in any one political party's primary ballot. No voter can vote in more than one party's primary.

Where can you vote?

For early voting, you can cast your ballot at any early voting site in your county.

To look up your nearest voting location and its hours, click here.

Voters can also register to vote or update their registration by utilizing same-day registration. This is only available during early voting, not on election day. Click here to learn more about same-day registration.

Are you already registered to vote? Check your registration with the Voter Search Tool.

Is voting by mail still allowed?

Yes. Just be sure you request your absentee ballot by Feb. 27, if you plan to vote in the primary.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the general election in November is Oct. 29.

For everything you need to know about voting by mail, click here.

What's on your ballot?

Click on Sample Ballot and enter your information if you would like to see what's on it before heading to the poll.

Do I have to have an ID to vote?

Yes. It's North Carolina law that all voters need an acceptable form of photo ID for their vote to count.

Please note: All voters will be allowed to fill out their ballot, with or without a photo ID. If you forget your photo ID, you can still submit a provisional ballot and then you will need to fill out an ID Exception Form and verify you have a valid photo ID at a later date.

A driver's license is an acceptable form of photo ID. It will be the most commonly used photo ID, but if you don't have a driver's license there are many other acceptable forms of voter ID. If you don't have any of those accepted forms of ID, you can request a photo ID for free from your county board of elections.

How did voter ID become law in North Carolina

Requiring photo IDs for voters has been something Republicans in the state have wanted to do for years. In 2013, GOP legislatures passed new election rules, including voter ID. A federal court struck that law down, determining that it was unconstitutional saying that it unfairly targeted racial minorities and made it harder for them to vote.

The GOP tried again in 2018, this time putting voter ID on the ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment. The amendment passed by a count of 2,049,121 to 1,643,983. However, the law detailing how it would work was struck down by the North Carolina Supreme Court before it went into effect.

That ruling was made by a North Carolina Supreme Court that was made up of four Democrats and three Republicans. The ruling was split down party lines. So when Republicans regained a majority on the court, they reexamined that ruling and overturned it.

What type of equipment is used for early voting?

To see what your county uses for one-stop early voting click on voting equipment and see the state map for "One-Stop Early voting equipment county-by-county."