Breaking News
More () »

North Carolina's State Board of Elections issues guidelines for students voting by mail

Students registered to vote at an on-campus address, but have not requested an absentee ballot, may do so on the board's website

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State Board of Elections has issued a guideline for students who wish to vote by mail.

Board officials said Monday that students at colleges and universities should request their ballot to be sent to an address where they know they will receive it.

“We want to ensure all eligible voters have the information they need to successfully cast their ballot in this important election during these unique times,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections.

Students who are temporarily living away or displaced from the residence where they are registered to vote but intend to return are not considered to have lost their place of residence. The residence in question can remain their address for voting purposes.

Students registered to vote at a campus address, but have not requested an absentee ballot, may do so on the board's website North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request Form. The student may have the ballot sent to an address of their choosing.

Board officials said in the statement that this is the best option for students who are registered to vote at their campus address and know they will be leaving their campus address for the remainder of the semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Those students who are registered to vote at an on-campus address but are unsure if they are leaving campus are asked to wait for a definitive housing situation before requesting a ballot.

Students who have already requested a ballot but must leave campus due to COVID-19 or for any other reason may submit a new request to have their ballot sent to a different address. The first request will not be fulfilled. Students or others who submit a new form can make a note on the new form, such as “updated” or “changed” to alert county elections workers that it is an updated request. They can also email or contact their county board office to ensure the ballot is sent to the updated address, the release said.

RELATED: NC is the first state to mail out absentee ballots. How to request one.

"If you have abandoned your place of residence and intend to stay at your new address indefinitely, then you should register at your new residential address. If you will be away from your residential or mailing address, be sure to include the address where you want your ballot to be sent on your absentee ballot request. If you have moved within your county, you may use the request form to update your residential address and/or mailing address," Bell said.

An online absentee ballot request portal will be available on the State Board’s website, NCSBE.gov by Sept. 1 to allow all registered voters to request a ballot online.  County boards of elections will begin to send ballots to voters who request them starting Sept. 4.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27, but elections officials strongly encourage voters to request a ballot earlier to ensure they can meet absentee ballot return deadlines.

All voters may vote in person during the early voting period, Oct. 15-31, or on Election Day, Nov. 3.

To register to vote, complete a North Carolina Voter Registration Application. Existing N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ customers may use the online DMV service to register to vote or update their registration. The regular voter registration deadline is Oct. 9. If you miss that deadline, you may register and vote at the same time in person during early voting.

RELATED: VERIFY: You should mail ballots in at least 7 days before election day

Before You Leave, Check This Out