In-Person Early Voting is Underway for 2024 Primary

Voters voting in polling place

In-person early voting for the 2024 primary election began on Thursday, February 15, and runs through Saturday, March 2, at early voting locations across North Carolina.

Statewide, more than 340 early voting sites will be open for early voting ahead of the March 5 primary election.

Early voting has become a popular voting method in North Carolina. In the 2020 presidential primary, 36% of voters chose early voting to cast their ballot. In the 2022 primary, 39% voted early in-person. Early voting is the most popular form of voting for general elections.

“In-person early voting is one of the ways voters can cast ballots securely in North Carolina,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The bipartisan election officials who work at each early voting site are prepared for a smooth voting process and to ensure the ballots of eligible voters are counted.”

About Primary Elections

Primaries are elections used to determine each political party’s nominees who will advance to the general election in November.

In a partisan primary, voters affiliated with a political party may only vote their party’s ballot and may not vote in another party’s primary. For example, a registered Republican may only vote in the Republican Party primary. This remains true even if a voter is affiliated with a party that does not have a primary, such as the No Labels Party and the Green Party in 2024. Voters from those parties may vote a nonpartisan ballot, if available in their jurisdictions.

Unaffiliated voters may choose any one political party’s ballot or a nonpartisan ballot, if available in their jurisdiction.

10 Tips for Early Voters

The State Board of Elections offers the following tips for early voters:

  1. Early voting locations. Eligible voters may cast a ballot at any early voting site in their county. For sites and hours in all 100 counties, use the Early Voting Sites search tool. Also see Early Voting Sites for the March 5, 2024 Primary Election (PDF). The busiest days for early voting are often the first day and the last couple of days.
  2. Candidate info. Sample ballots are available through the Voter Search tool. For information on candidates for the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, see the State Board’s Judicial Voter Guide: 2024 Primary Election. The State Board does not provide information about candidates for other contests, but some media outlets and advocacy groups do. Many candidates also have websites and social media accounts. Being familiar with your ballot choices will help your voting experience go more smoothly.
  3. Bring Your Photo ID. Voters will be asked to show photo ID when they check in to vote. Most voters will show their driver’s license, but many other forms of photo ID will be accepted. Voters who do not have photo ID can make sure their vote counts by either (1) filling out a form explaining why they are unable to show ID, or (2) showing their ID at the county board of elections office by 5 p.m. March 14. Comprehensive information about the photo ID requirement is available at BringItNC.com.
  4. Free Photo IDs. Any registered voter who needs a photo ID can get one for free from their county board of elections office during the early voting period, which ends on March 2. For details, go to Get a Free Voter Photo ID.
  5. Register to Vote. The regular voter registration deadline was February 9. But any North Carolinian who is eligible to vote may still register and vote at the same time during the early voting period. Registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of their residence. For more information, visit Register in Person During Early Voting.
  6. Updating Registration. During early voting, registered voters may update their name or address within the same county, if necessary. Party changes are not permitted during early voting.
  7. Absentee Ballot Dropoff. Voters who vote by absentee ballot can return it by mail or hand it to an election official at an early voting site in their county. They can also drop it off in person to their county board of elections office. Ballots will be kept secure and delivered to the county board of elections for processing. For more information on returning absentee-by-mail ballots, see Detailed Instructions to Vote By Mail.
  8. Voting in Person Instead of Absentee. Voters who requested an absentee ballot but have not yet returned it may choose instead to vote in person during the early voting period or on March 5. Voters may discard the absentee ballot and do not need to bring it to a voting site.
  9. Peace at the Polls. All voters should respect the rights of others to participate in the election. Election officials are trained to quickly address incidents that might interfere with a voter’s ability to cast their ballot. Intimidating any voter is a crime. Voters who feel harassed or intimidated should notify an election official immediately.
  10. Voters in Need of Assistance. Voters in need of assistance may bring an eligible person to help them enter and exit the polling place or to help them complete their ballot. Election officials are also available to help voters. Curbside voting is also available for voters unable to enter the voting site. For more information, visit Curbside Voting.

For more information about early voting, visit Vote Early in Person.