More early voting sites and hours than 2012 primary

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 3, 2016

Beginning Thursday, voters will have more early voting opportunities in N.C. than in the 2012 primary, the last comparable election cycle.  More than 360 early voting sites across the state will host 25,300 hours of voting during the 10-day early voting period that ends Saturday March 12.


“Counties have worked hard to expand voting opportunities across our state,” said executive director Kim Westbrook Strach of the State Board of Elections. Early voting, which has gained in popularity, accounted for more than 23 percent of all votes cast in the 2012 primary and a majority in the 2012 general election.

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“We want voters to use the voting method that best fits their schedule,” said Strach.

Voters may participate at any early voting location within their county of residence.  The State Board of Elections has partnered with the PEW Foundation, Google, and Microsoft to create an online Polling Place Look-up and an open API for third-party developers.


Those who missed the regular voter registration deadline on Feb. 19 can register and vote at one-stop early voting locations. This “same-day registration” option is currently available, but remains the subject of ongoing litigation.


North Carolina voters will be asked to show acceptable photo identification when they present at the polls. Exceptions are available for those who cannot obtain acceptable photo identification. Information on photo ID requirements and exceptions is available at


“If you have acceptable ID, bring it. But if you’re unable to obtain one, you can vote by absentee or our precinct officials will help you cast a ballot that will count,” said Strach.


The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Tuesday, March 8. The State Board of Elections will be monitoring the roll-out of photo ID procedures throughout the state.


The General Assembly has adopted new district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives in response to a court order. The new lines are still under court review. However, affected ballots could not be changed in time for the March Primary. The State Board of Elections is encouraging voters to vote their entire ballot, and the State Board will certify the appropriate contests. A separate primary for U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled for June 7.


The North Carolina State Board of Elections is the state agency charged with overall responsibility for administration of the elections process and campaign finance disclosure in North Carolina. The office of the State Board of Elections works in conjunction with County Board of Elections offices to ensure that elections are conducted lawfully and fairly. For additional information visit North Carolina State Board of Elections website at


-Submitted by Jackie Hyland