NORTH CAROLINA, USA — The North Carolina primary election is happening May 17. It was originally supposed to take place in March, but a battle in the state Supreme Court over district maps delayed the election.
During this election, voters can choose which candidates they prefer to be on the general election ballot in November. The purpose of a primary is to narrow the field of candidates for the general election.
Races on the ballot include:
- U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
- N.C. General Assembly.
- N.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Registered voters across the state can vote in the primary. However, voters affiliated with any political party will be given a ballot of candidates for their party. Unaffiliated voters can choose the ballot of candidates for any party: Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican.
Additionally, many voters will find municipal contests on their ballot due to rescheduled municipal elections. This applies to voters in municipalities that delayed their 2021 elections to finalize new electoral districts. This also applies to voters who live in cities and towns that conduct their elections during even-numbered years.
Am I registered to vote?
Use the North Carolina Board of Elections Voter Search Tool to determine if you are registered to vote in North Carolina and verify if your voter record needs to be updated.
Who can register to vote?
You may register to vote in Guilford County if you are:
- A citizen of the United States
- A person 18 years of age by the date of the next general election
- A legal resident of Guilford County 30 days by the date of the next election
You must register or re-register if you:
- Have never registered in Guilford County
- Have had your Guilford County registration canceled because you moved out of the county
- Have ever been convicted of a felony
When do I need to register?
- If mailed, the registration form must be postmarked at least 25 days prior to the election
- If hand-delivered or faxed, the registration form must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the 25th day prior to the election
For the North Carolina primary election on May 17, that date is Friday, April 22.
Do I have to declare a party?
Party affiliation determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote. You may register with the Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian parties, or you may register as unaffiliated. Unaffiliated voters may vote in a party primary if authorized by that party. If you do not declare a party you will be registered as unaffiliated.
Do I have to contact the Board of Elections if I want to change my voter registration information?
Yes, if you:
- Have moved within Guilford County since you registered in the county (it is a violation of state law to return to your old precinct and vote if you have moved more than 30 days)
- Have changed your name
- Want to change your party affiliation
You may change your address, name, or party by filling out the back of your voter information card and returning it to the elections office or filling out a mail-in registration form. This information must be received by registration deadlines for elections.