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Changes To Vote By Mail In North Carolina: What You Need To Know Ahead Of The May Primary

More than 7,000 North Carolinians have already requested absentee ballots for the upcoming primary election in May. North Carolina allows anyone to vote by mail; however, voters will notice that there have been some changes to the system for this year.

In 2020, mail-in ballot rules were relaxed in an effort to make it easier to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, ballot rules are reverting to their original form. Voters requesting absentee ballots should be prepared to:

  • Have two witness signatures for your ballot, or one witness signature and an official notarization. 
  • Request ballots online or in-person, submitting them by mail or to the board of elections. Ballots will no longer be accepted by email or fax as they were in 2020.

However, some of the changes made in 2020 will remain somewhat in place. In 2022, voters will have a three day grace period after the election for mail-in ballots to arrive. Ballots postmarked after the election will not be counted. Additionally, the Board of Elections has introduced new, permanent rules, to allow mail-in voters to be informed of mistakes on their mail-in ballots and be given the opportunity to correct them.

North Carolinians must register to vote by April 22nd for the primary election on May 17th. Mail-in-ballots must be requested by May 10th. 

Read more from the News & Observer

For more information on voting by mail and the upcoming primary elections, please visit the NC Board of Elections website,


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