Five things you need to know to vote in November
The last day of early voting in North Carolina is Saturday, when the polling places will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There’s no early voting on the Sunday or Monday before Election Day. And on Tuesday, for Election Day itself, the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who is in line by the end of voting hours will be able to vote, even if they don’t actually cast their ballot until later.
People in North Carolina cannot register to vote on Election Day itself, which is Tuesday, Nov. 6. But it is perfectly legal to register during early voting and then vote the same day.
Anyone who wants to register during early voting needs to bring something that proves both their name and address. That could include a driver’s license, utility bill, paycheck or other documents. Find more information on the NC Board of Elections website.
People who are already registered but need to update their information can also do so during early voting. On Election Day itself, people who have moved and need to update their address can do so, but only if they’ve moved within the same county. And people who moved within 30 days of the election are still allowed to vote at their old address if they haven’t yet updated their voter registration with their new address.
In the Triangle, each county has multiple early voting sites, and anyone can vote at any of the sites in the county where they live. The early voting sites are different from the polling places used on Election Day. You can find out where the early voting sites in your community are at nando.com/52- or at www.ncsbe.gov.
If you vote on Election Day itself, you should vote at the precinct you’re assigned to, which you can find by looking up your name at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup.
Voting early? Here’s what’s on the N.C. ballot
North Carolina General Assembly: All 120 seats in the N.C. House of Representatives and all 50 seats in the N.C. Senate are up for election this November, and almost every single one is being contested — a huge change from 2016, when nearly half of those 170 seats went uncontested. The districts being used in this election are new, since the map used in 2016 was found to be an unconstitutional racial gerrymander and was redrawn. So people who voted for (or against) their current state senator or representative in 2016 might be voting for totally different candidates this year. Republicans hold a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate, and Democrats need to flip four seats in the House or six seats in the Senate to break that supermajority.
U.S. House of Representatives: All North Carolinians live in one of the 13 districts that are all up for election this year. And even though these districts were just ruled to be unconstitutionally gerrymandered — just like the previous district maps were — the election will go ahead using the current lines. Republicans hold a 10-3 advantage, although political observers believe a national surge of liberal enthusiasm might help Democrats oust some Republican incumbents.
North Carolina Supreme Court: Democratic challenger Anita Earls faces two Republicans, the incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson as well as challenger Anglin. The court currently has a 4-3 Democratic advantage, which will remain the case if Jackson or Anglin win. If Earls wins, Democrats will have a 5-2 advantage.
Constitutional amendments: All six amendments that legislators wanted will be on the ballot. Two will transfer power from the governor to the legislature, regarding influence over judges and the board of elections. One will lower the state’s maximum possible income tax rate, although it won’t change anyone’s taxes now. One will establish voter ID laws, after the state’s last attempt to do so was ruled unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. One will re-affirm that people have a right to hunt and fish. One will grant extra rights in the criminal justice system to people who were the victims of crimes.
North Carolina Court of Appeals: There are 15 judges on this court, and three seats are up for election this year. Two of those seats belong to Republicans who aren’t seeking re-election, and the third belongs to a Democrat who is seeking re-election. The court currently has a 10-5 Republican majority, so it will still be majority Republican after this election no matter what. The main question is exactly how large of an advantage the Republican majority will have — anywhere from a broad 11-4 majority to a slim 8-7 majority.
Various local races: There are also local elections in counties all around the state, like for trial court judges, that will be on the ballot alongside the state and federal contests.