GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Have you registered to vote in this fall’s election? Early voting starts next week, and election day is less than a month away, on Nov. 8.
And if you want to avoid the slow process of same-day registration – you can register at the polls during early voting, but that takes time – then Friday is the deadline for you to streamline the process.
In case you need motivation, there are significant elections on the ballot this fall, including the U.S. Senate, all 14 of the state’s seats in Congress, all seats for the General Assembly, two spots on the North Carolina Supreme Court, four on the Court of Appeals and a variety of local races, such as boards of supervisors, school boards and courts.
The North Carolina Board of Elections oversees everything about elections, including the registration process for the state’s roughly 7.4 million voters, tabulating the ballots and distributing results. Voter registration information is a public record unless you take steps to avoid that because of specific issues.
Just to be clear, to register you have to be 18 years old – although 16- and 17-year-olds may pre-register – a U.S. citizen and live in the county in which you are registering for at least 30 days. You may recall that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is under scrutiny for perhaps violating that very law.
You also can’t be in jail or prison for a felony conviction, but having a felony conviction does not preclude you from voting, although at times there is confusion about this.
If you already are registered and wish to update that information because you moved or you simply want to change your party affiliation, you can do that either online or by mail.
If you are moving out of state and want to cancel your registration or if you are handling a death, you can use a similar process to make those changes.
How to register
- You can register to vote in person or online through the NC Department of Motor Vehicles.
- You can download a printable file in English or Spanish and then submit that form by mail.
- If you are serving in the military, the process will be handled by the Military and Overseas Voting process defined by federal law.
Early-voting, in-person registration
When early voting begins on Oct. 20 – find the days, times and sites in the Piedmont Triad here – you can register at any of those locations. That happens at a separate table at the polling site and before you are provided and can cast a ballot.
You will have to provide proof of your eligibility to register – age and address – and sign an affidavit certifying the information is correct against criminal prosecution. To prove your eligibility, you will need to show one of these documents:
- A North Carolina driver’s license.
- Other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, provided that the card includes the voter’s current name and address.
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address.
- A current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation. There is more information about acceptable proof of residence for college students at Registering as a College Student: During Early Voting.
All that information will be verified, and the registration updated after your visit, but the ballot you cast at that visit to the polls won’t be counted until that is complete.
The NC BOE anticipates many of your questions and offers answers at its FAQ site.
Source: Fox 8 News Channel