Welcome to 2024! Like you, we at Pro-Choice North Carolina are preparing for a huge election year. In North Carolina, that election cycle starts in less than two months with the primaries! Early voting begins February 15 and Tuesday, March 5 is election day for the North Carolina primary. Are you ready to vote?
Known as “Super Tuesday,” North Carolina will join a number of states around the country in holding its primary election for the presidential races. But it’s not just politicians at the top of the ticket that we will need to cast our vote for. From Congressional Representatives to Governor, Attorney General, state legislators, judges, county commissioners, and even city council members, many of us will have a robust number of races on our ballot. For some races, where only one party is running for an elected office in the general (November) election, the primary election will decide who wins in November. Don't miss this opportunity to weigh in. All elections are important!
Let’s make sure we’re all ready to vote!
If you have any problems when you try to vote, including if the line to vote is more than a one hour wait, we encourage you to call the nonpartisan voter hotline at 1-800-OUR-VOTE (1-800-687-8683) to report your problem and to get help.
1) Voter ID: 2023 was the first year North Carolinians were required to show voter ID. While North Carolina joins a number of other states with this unnecessary requirement, it unfortunately has been shown to impede some voters' access to the polls. So the first thing you should do to prepare for the primary is make sure you have the proper voter ID. For many voters, that will be an unexpired (or expired less than one year) North Carolina driver's license. But not everyone hast that. There are a number of IDs that have been approved. You can find more information, and list of acceptable IDs, on the NC State Board of Elections website. Be sure to watch the short video about the voter ID requirement, as it explains what happens if your photo ID is challenged as well: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voter-id
If you don't have the proper photo ID when you to vote, you can still vote your ballot! You must also fill out a Voter ID exception form: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voter-id#exceptions
Your county board of election can also help you get a free ID if needed: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voter-id/get-free-voter-photo-id
The NC State Board of Elections also has this "10 Facts about Voter ID" list: https://www.ncsbe.gov/news/press-releases/2023/05/17/10-facts-about-ncs-photo-id-requirement-voting
2) Voter registration deadline: If you need to register to vote for the primary, you can do so until Friday, February 9. You can find voter registration information here: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering
Note: during the early voting period, you can register and vote on the same day: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering/how-register/register-person-during-early-voting
3) Make your plan to vote: Are you going to vote early? The early voting period for the primary election is Thursday, February 15 - Saturday, March 2. Here is where you can find early voting sites in your county of residence: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-early-person
If you are going to vote on Election Day, you can find your polling place here. If you are voting on Election Day, March 5, 2024, you must vote at your assigned polling place! https://vt.ncsbe.gov/PPLkup/
4) If you want to vote by absentee ballot, the NC Legislature made a number of unnecessary changes in 2023 that make it much more difficult for North Carolinians to vote by absentee ballot, including requiring voter ID. In addition to an ID, you will also need to request a ballot and have two witnesses with you when you vote. You will need to make sure you have enough time to get your ballot back to the appropriate election office by Election Day. If you plan to vote by absentee ballot, make your plans now! You can find detailed information on the process here: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail/faq-voting-mail
If you do not have the proper ID for the absentee ballot, you can fill out and return the Voter ID Exception form: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voter-id#exceptions
The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot for the NC primary is Tuesday, February 27!
Now that you have your plan for how you’ll cast your ballot, be sure to check out your ballot ahead of time! You may be surprised at how many races are on your ballot, and you can find your sample ballot here: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/
Once you’ve got your sample ballot, start learning about the candidates. You can check out candidate websites and social media, look for endorsements from organizations and people you trust and support, and be on the lookout for any candidate forums. You can even contact campaign offices to ask where the candidates stand on issues that are important to you!
You can also check out the League of Women Voters' voting resource Vote411.
If you really want to dig into the politics and stances of a candidate, you can also check out their campaign reports, to see how they are raising and spending their political donations: https://www.ncsbe.gov/campaign-finance/search-campaign-funding-and-spending-reports-and-penalties
One note for the primary—voters registered with the Democratic or Republican party can only vote in their party’s primary. North Carolina allows unaffiliated voters to choose which party’s ballot they want for the primary.
Now that you have the information you need and you’ve made your plan for voting in the primary, be sure to bring 10 of your friends and family with you to vote...When we vote, we win!