Voting: What You Need to Know for the 2014 Elections

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Election Day falls on Tuesday, November 4, and early voting sites will open Thursday, October 23. North Carolina voters will elect candidates for a variety of offices, including the General Assembly, Congress, state judgeships, and others. Below are a few things you should be aware of since new voting laws were passed in 2013.

You do not need to show photo ID to vote in this election. However, starting in 2016, you will need to show a photo ID to prove your identity at the voting site. This year, elections staff may ask you whether you have ID, show you examples of the kind of ID you need in 2016, and ask you to sign a form saying that you understand that you will need to get ID if you don’t have it. You can get a free, non-driver’s ID through the NC Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you are not registered to vote in North Carolina, or are a first-time voter, you must register to vote 25 days before the election. The final day to register to vote is October 10. You can check on your registration at the State Board of Elections website.

If you have moved or changed your name, you must update your registration and voter information. If you show up at the wrong polling place, you cannot vote, provisional or otherwise, at that location. You must vote in the polling place where you are registered.

  • If you have moved to a new county, you must register your new information 25 days prior to the election: October 10.
  • If you move within the same county, or change your name, you can still update your information during early voting that begins on October 23.

There are new rules and assistance available for absentee voting. To get more information than is provided here, click here.

  • Voters must request an absentee ballot with the Absentee Ballot Request form on the State Board of Elections website.
  • You cannot write a letter to request a ballot. The last day to request a ballot is the Tuesday before the election, in this case, October 28.
  • The voter, a near relative, or a guardian must provide the voter’s date of birth and ID information.
  • The absentee ballot must be witnessed by two people over the age of 18 or one person who is a Notary Public.
  • Voted ballots are due by 5 p.m. the day of the elections. You can take them to the local board of elections, mail them (postmarked by 5 p.m. Election Day), or walk them to the polls. Voted ballots may also be returned to one-stop voting sites during early voting.

Restrictions have been placed regarding who can assist a voter living in a licensed facility such as a nursing home, adult care home, or other facility. Staff and owners of those facilities are barred from providing assistance to the voter. If a guardian or near relative is not available to assist the person, the voter can request help from the local board of elections Multipartisan Assistance Team (MAT). The MAT can help with requesting an absentee ballot, as well as filling out and submitting the ballot.

Multipartisan Assistance Teams in your county are looking for registered voters to volunteer their time to assist absentee voters. Volunteers who have experience with individuals with disabilities are especially needed. Consider contacting your local board of elections to volunteer.

Early voting sites operate October 23 to Saturday November 1, and are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check with your local board of elections for early voting locations and times of operation.

If you have questions about public policy issues, please contact Jennifer Mahan, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at 919-865-5068 or jmahan@autismsociety-nc.org.

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