Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How do I register to vote?
Complete the N.C. State Voter Registration Form . New registrations and party change requests must be returned to the Elections Office no later than 25 days prior to Election Day to be applicable for the election. Note: The original form must be submitted in-person or by mail for new registrations. Same-day registration is available during One-Stop voting only after the deadline (where voters can register and vote the same day.)
A Voter Information Card will be mailed to you once your registration application has been processed. This card provides your proof of registration and also provides useful information like your precinct number and assigned polling location for Election Day. This card also displays what jurisdictions you vote in. Please retain this card as it may be used to change your address, name, or party affiliation within Carteret County. It can also be used to cancel your Carteret County registration should you move out of the county. This card is not required on election day in order to vote.
- What are the qualifications to register/vote?
A citizen of the United States (if convicted of a felony, citizenship rights must be restored). A legal resident of Carteret County for 30 days by the date of the next election. A person 18 years of age, or a person 17 years of age can register and vote in the primary if they will be 18 by the date of the General Election.
- Where can I get voter registration/change forms?
The voter registration form (also used for changes) is available at the Board of Elections Office, and downloadable here.
You may also pick up a form at any Carteret County Driver's License Office, Public assistance agency, public high school, Armed Forces recruitment office, and most post offices.
- How do I change my information? Name/Party/Address
There are two ways a voter can change their information. A voter can send us their voter card with the change (new information) marked on the back or the voter can complete a voter registration/change form annotating the new information. Either form MUST be signed with the voter's original signature. By law we cannot accept emails or phone calls requesting a change.
- Where do I vote?
Every voter will be assigned a voting place within the precinct where they live. Your precinct will be assigned by our office. You will receive a Voter's Information Card by mail indicating the name and location of your voting place when you register or change your address.
- What time do the polls open?
All voting places in Carteret County are open on Election Day from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.
- What if I cannot enter or visit my polling place?
If you are unable to enter your voting place due to age or physical disability, you will be allowed to vote in your vehicle. Have someone enter the voting place and inform the election officials of your desire to vote a curbside ballot. The precinct officials will bring the ballot and voting forms to your vehicle or you can request absentee ballot.
Mail your request for an absentee ballot to: Carteret County Board of Elections, Attn: Absentee Ballots, 1702 Live Oak Street, Suite 200, Beaufort, NC 28516. Please make sure to sign your request.
- What is Absentee Voting and One-Stop Voting?
To vote by mail, the voter will properly complete the Absentee Ballot Request form and submit it no later than the Tuesday prior to Election Day. Upon receipt of the request, the Board of Elections will mail the voter his/her ballot. The voter will properly complete his/her ballot and return envelope and mail it back to the Board of Elections by the deadline.
During One-Stop Early Voting, the voter appears in person to vote at any early voting site during the scheduled time for the election. This process is technically called "One-Stop No-Excuse Absentee Voting" as it is technically a form of in-person absentee voting prior to Election Day.
- What is a provisional ballot/transferred voter?
It is the responsibility of the voter to ensure that their information is correct on the records of the Board of Elections. If the voter shows up at a precinct on election day and the information in the voter records is incorrect or not there at all, the voter will be allowed to fill out a voter registration/change form and vote a ballot. This provisional ballot will be examined by the Board to determine if it can be counted. Under the provisions of the Voter Rights Act of 1993, failsafe voting, we will make every effort to count the provisional ballots. A voter who has moved to a different precinct more than 30 days prior to the election will be transferred to their new precinct where they will not have to vote a provisional ballot.
- How can I be removed from your registration rolls?
There are several ways to cancel your own Carteret County registration:
When you register to vote in a new county or state, you can complete the "Previous Voter Registration" section of the registration form. The county or state will notify Carteret County that you have moved, and we will cancel your Carteret County registration.
Complete the back of your voter card with the new address and county information and send the voter card to the Carteret County Board of Elections.
Click here to access a cancellation form to remove yourself from our voter registration records.
- I am registered unaffiliated, may I vote in a Primary Election?
You may register with any political party recognized in the State of North Carolina. Party affiliation determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote. You may also register as unaffiliated. If you do not declare a party, you will be registered as unaffiliated. During a partisan primary election, an unaffiliated voter may vote only if a party authorizes unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary. If all parties authorize unaffiliated voters to vote, the voter must chose which party ballot he wishes to vote on the day of the Primary.
- When is the deadline to register to vote in an election?
If mailed, the registration form must be postmarked at least 25 days prior to the election. If hand-delivered, the registration form must be received at the Board of Elections office no later than 5:00 pm on the 25th day prior to the election.
- I drive by a polling place on my way to work. Can't I just vote there?
No. You must vote at the polling place for your precinct on Election Day. The precinct officials there will look for your name on a list of all of the voters in the precinct.
- How do I know if my voter registration is up to date?
If you are not sure of the status of your voter registration, call the Board of Elections Office at 252-728-8460 and someone will verify your registration status. You may also search the website voter search utility to determine your registration status and voting location. The voter information there is updated daily.
- How do election officials prevent someone from voting twice?
Election administrators take many steps to ensure that voters only cast one ballot in an election. Voters have to be eligible to receive a ballot. Election officials keep detailed records of who has already voted, and who has already requested and received a ballot in the mail. These steps make it difficult for someone to cheat, so voting twice is both easy to catch and extremely rare. Additionally, most state laws make this type of illegal activity a felony that is punishable by time in jail, large fines, or both.
- What are my rights as a voter?
You have the right to:
- Vote privately and independently.
- Have an accessible polling place with voting machines for voters with disabilities.
- Change or correct your ballot before it is cast.
- Be provided a provisional ballot if you believe you are in the correct polling place during federal elections.
Additionally, you may:
- Seek assistance from either workers at your polling place, or you may bring someone of your choice to help you cast a ballot (except for your employer or an agent of you union).
- Request that your local election officials to tell you about any accessible equipment, aids, or procedures that are available to help you vote.