Early Voting is Underway in North Carolina. Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, a worker prepares tabulators for the upcoming election at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C. Early in-person voting starts Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in all 100 counties in North Carolina, where the historically popular form of casting ballots has been upstaged this fall by people voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, file)

By Billy Ball

October 15, 2020

The early voting period, which also allows for same-day registration and voting, runs from Oct. 15 through Oct. 31. It is one of the great perks of voting in North Carolina. 

This is what it’s about.

This is why we endure all of the campaign signs in the right-of-way, and those maddening ads and the bitter social media fights with our friends and neighbors. It’s why we sort out the junk mail from the campaign mailers.

The election is less than three weeks away. And the only thing separating your cause, whatever it is, from success is who turns out to vote. 

This year is different. The coronavirus has upended everything. It will have its impact on Election Day too. And, of course, it will change how you participate in one of North Carolina’s finest election season perks: The ability to register and vote early.

One-stop voting begins today and lasts through Oct. 31. During this period, voters can show up at any early voting site in their county. And if you missed the period for voter registration, you still have a chance to vote in this election at one-stop voting.

At one-stop, you can register and vote in the same day. Because every single voter, no matter who you are, should count in this election.

Searching for your one-stop voting sites? Click here.

Want to see your sample ballot? Enter your information here.

Need to know if you’re already registered? Click here.  

It’s important to note that you will not need an ID to vote, but you will need identification if you are registering. 

Of course, expect to wear a mask and practice social distancing at the polling site. If we practice these things, there is no reason to think we can’t vote safely this year. 

If you’re looking for more information on voting in North Carolina this election season, check out Cardinal & Pine’s landing page for the 2020 election, with crucial information on all the latest voting litigation, news about this historic election, and stories from North Carolinians who want to tell you why they’re going to the polls this year. 

Everyone has a story, and everyone has a vote. And let’s face it, it’s hard to get satisfaction during this pandemic. There is nothing more satisfying than telling your political leaders exactly how you feel by voting. 


  • Billy Ball

    Billy Ball is Cardinal & Pine's senior community editor. He’s covered local, state and national politics, government, education, criminal justice, the environment and immigration in North Carolina for almost two decades, winning state, regional and national awards for his reporting and commentary.

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