A Last-Minute Guide to Election Day in North Carolina

A bag-making station during a September voter-registration event hosted by NextGen America at UNC-Chapel Hill's campus. (Photo by Michael McElroy/Cardinal & Pine)

By Michael McElroy

November 7, 2022

To be heard, you need to know how the microphones work. So here are some last minute things to keep in mind, courtesy of the North Carolina Board of Elections, as you vote in person on Election Day.

Election Day is here, finally. Today is your last chance to make your voice heard on abortion rights, free and fair elections, health care, climate change, and so many other important issues that affect the day-to-day lives of North Carolinians. 

But to be heard, you need to know how the microphones work. So here are some last minute things to keep in mind, courtesy of the North Carolina Board of Elections, as you vote in person on Election Day.


Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. But here’s the big thing: As long as you are in line by 7:30, you will be allowed to vote. So if you get there at 7:25 and the line is long, stay there. They won’t turn you away.


On Election Day you can vote ONLY in your assigned voting site. To find your polling place, click here.

No Voter ID:

You do not need to show an ID in order to vote. 

Provisional Ballots:

This one’s important. If there is some question about your eligibility, or if you go to the wrong polling place, fill out a provisional ballot. Elections officials will look into things and if all is fine and you are indeed registered, that ballot will be counted. You’ll be able to track your provisional ballot 10 days after Election Day. For more information, click here.

Voter Intimidation Is a Crime:

So if you are harassed or otherwise messed with while trying to vote, alert an elections official right away. Interference includes hindering voter access to the voting place, and disrupting election officials carrying out their duties. 

Sample Ballots:

You have to fill out the ballot given to you at the site, but you can see what it looks like by printing out a sample ballot. This will show you, for example, that there’s a front and back, and it will tell you who’s running and for what office. You can find your sample ballot through the NCBOE’s voter search tool.

Voting by Mail:

If you want to vote by mail, you have to use the post office. You can’t drop off a mailed ballot at your polling site. For details on sending your ballot through the mail click here.

You Can No longer Register to Vote, Unless …

… you became eligible after Oct. 14 because you became a US citizen or had your rights restored after a felony conviction. “Due to a recent court decision,” the NCBOE reminds us, “North Carolinians who are convicted of a felony have their rights restored when they leave jail or prison. They have the right to vote while on felony probation, parole, or post-release supervision.”

Widespread Election Fraud Is Nonexistent:

Voter fraud is exceptionally rare and there is ZERO evidence of widespread fraud in 2020. Or 2018. Or 2016.

But the truth won’t stop people from yelling fraud when their candidate loses, or even before the voting ends.  Because …

It May Take Some Time to Know Who Won:

The NCBOE has a deliberately deliberate vote-counting process. It’s how we know that only legal ballots are counted. But especially in close races, that means it may take a day, or more, to know who won. 

Need Help?

The NCBOE offers curbside voting for anyone unable to enter the polling place because of a disability. But you have to request the assistance, the NCBOE says. You can find more about the process 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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