How to vote by absentee ballot in North Carolina and South Carolina

How to vote by absentee ballot in North Carolina and South Carolina
(WSOC)

Mail balloting began Sept. 4 for the presidential election as North Carolina started sending out more than 600,000 ballots to voters — responding to a massive spike in requests that has played out across the country as voters look for a safer way to cast ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

Elections officials are stressing that voting by mail is safe in North Carolina and you do not need a reason to do it. Anyone can request a ballot.

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North Carolina

Register to vote

To vote via absentee ballot, you must be registered to vote.

Request an absentee ballot and submit request

  • There are two ways to request and submit an absentee ballot. The deadline to submit a request for the November 3, 2020 general election is 5 p.m. on October 27.
  • After you request a ballot, please allow a week to 10 days for it to get to you. If you do not receive your ballot within that time, contact your county board of elections.

Complete an absentee ballot

  • Your county board of elections will mail your ballot to you starting September 4. You must have one witness with you when completing your absentee ballot. After, put the ballot into the return envelope.
  • Sign the outside of the ballot return envelope. Your witness will complete and sign the witness certification. If you receive assistance marking or mailing the ballot, the assistant must also fill out the voter assistant certification.

Return your absentee ballot to your county board of elections

  • By mail to your county board of elections, postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by 5 p.m. on November 6.
  • By commercial courier service. (DHL, FedEx or UPS)
  • Drop it off in person at your county board of elections office by 5 p.m. on November 3.
  • Drop it off in person at any early voting site in your county during voting hours.

When your ballot is accepted by your county board of elections, that information will be posted in your voter record. You can check absentee ballot status and information using the Voter Search Tool. County boards of elections will contact voters if there are deficiencies with their absentee ballot.

North Carolina kicks off mail voting amid spike in requests

South Carolina

Register to vote

To vote via absentee ballot, you must be registered to vote.

Request and complete absentee ballot in person

  • You can request an absentee ballot in person at your county voter registration office.
  • Complete an application and cast your ballot there.
  • County offices will be open for in-person absentee voting starting September 28. You may vote absentee in person up until 5:00 p.m. on the day before the general election.
  • Your photo ID is required to vote via an absentee ballot in person.
  • For more information on who can vote absentee, click here.

Request and complete absentee ballot by mail

Once your absentee ballot has been returned, you can check the status of it on the South Carolina Election Commission website.