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Vote! How to do it, where to do it, when to do it

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There’s less than a month to go before the midterm general elections. Voters this year will get the chance to choose their state lawmakers, two Supreme Court and four Court of Appeals judges, and various local judges, sheriffs, and county commissioners across the state. Voters will also pick someone to serve in one U.S. Senate seat, and 14 U.S. House seats.

That’s all according to the State Board of Elections which, if you’re interested about voting, is where you can get the most comprehensive information.

You can find that here.

But perhaps most interesting for readers of EdNC are the school board elections that will be taking place across the state.

In North Carolina’s 115 school districts, there are a total of 759 school board seats. About 274 of those — 36% — are up for grabs this election.

A majority of the seats on the boards are up for election in 44 of the state’s school districts. Seventy-nine school districts in total will be having school board elections. (Be on the lookout for a deep dive about school board elections from EdNC’s Dean Drescher.)

Keep reading for information about what you need to know if you’re voting this fall.

Absentee voting

Voting for the election that takes place on Nov. 8 actually started last month, when the Board of Elections began mailing out absentee ballots to those who requested them. If you want to request an absentee ballot, you have until the beginning of November to do so.

Here’s where to get one, according to the State Board of Elections:

Learn more about voting by mail here.

Those absentee ballots will be accepted until Nov. 14 which, if you’re paying attention, is after Election Day has passed. Here is the important thing to note: Though you have a longer deadline, your ballot has to at least be postmarked by Election Day.

Early voting and registration

But what about if you’re not signed up to vote? Is it too late?

The voter registration deadline ends on Oct. 14, which means Friday is the last day to get your application in. But if you didn’t update your registration in time, don’t panic. North Carolina also has one-stop early voting sites where you can register and vote all at the same time.

That wave of voting starts on Oct. 20, and you can go to this link to find an early voting site near you. You can vote at any early voting site during this period. Early voting ends Nov. 5.

Voting day, yay!

Polls open on Nov. 8 at 6:30 a.m. and remain open until 7:30 p.m. Unlike during early voting, every voter has a designated polling place for Election Day. You can find out which one is yours by going here.

If you want to take a look at what your ballot will actually look like before Election Day hits, you can go to the Board of Elections voter search and go to the sample ballot portion of the results.

That is here.

What do I need to vote?

Short answer: nothing. You may have heard a lot about voter ID laws and a law passed by the General Assembly that requires voters to present a form of identification in order to vote. While that is all true, a superior court found that the ID law violated the state’s constitution. This is something that is still being fought in court, but in the meantime, you do not have to present identification when you show up to vote.

Other questions?

Do you have other questions about voting this November? Check out the State Board of Education’s website for everything you need to know and more.

You can find it here.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.