Time’s Almost Up to Register to Vote, North Carolina

Voters are assisted at a polling location at the South Regional Library in Durham, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Time is almost up to register to vote in NC's primary in May 2022. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By Michael McElroy

April 20, 2022

NC will elect a new US senator, 14 congressional reps, state Supreme Court justices, and numerous state legislative seats this year. Friday is the final main deadline to register ahead of next month’s primary.

If you want a voice in this year’s primary elections, you’re running out of time to register to vote.

Friday, April 22 is the main deadline to register to vote in time to participate in the May 17 primaries, the elections that determine who will represent each party in the general election in November.

Registering is pretty straightforward in North Carolina.

You can register:

  •  Online or in person through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • And by mail. (Registrations by mail must be postmarked by Friday in order to be accepted.)

If you miss Friday’s deadline, you can still register during the early voting period, but you can do so only at a limited number of early-voting sites in your county. (Early voting begins next Thursday, April 28, and runs until 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, three days before the May 17 primary election. To find a list of the early voting sites in your county, click here.)

While there is no race for president on the ballot this year, there are plenty of important elections that could decide North Carolina’s direction and priorities for years to come.

North Carolinians will be voting for new state Supreme Court justices, a US senator, 14 congressional races, and a whole lot of seats in the General Assembly, where key decisions on voting rights, minimum wages, Medicaid expansion, and other issues will be made.

There are 7,275,577 registered voters in North Carolina, and this will be the first election in which unaffiliated voters are the largest voting group, a sign of North Carolina’s independence and its power to sway an election. 

Voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote only in their party’s primary, but unaffiliated voters can vote in either.

You can check your registration status through the North Carolina Board of Elections here.


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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