Absentee Voting

What Is Absentee Voting? 
Absentee or advanced voting allows voters to cast a vote by mail or in person before Election Day. The 
2022 Election Schedule contains all of the important dates and times for the May Primary and November Election.
To view the scheduled One-Stop locations and times please visit the 
North Carolina State Board of Elections One-Stop Voter Tools website.
Apply for an Absentee Ballot 
To participate in absentee voting you must complete an Absentee Request Form and submit in person, e-mail, fax or via postal service to the Elections Office

You can request an Absentee Ballot at the N.C. State Absentee Portal. This is the link for the portal: https://votebymail.ncsbe.gov/app/home

For more information on requesting a ballot please visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.
As a reminder, all requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to Election Day.
Contact the Board of Elections office to find out specific dates.

Cast Your Absentee Ballot 
To cast your absentee ballot, follow the instructions enclosed with the ballot. Return it to the 
Board of Elections in the envelope provided. 
Military requests should use the Federal Post Card which is an application obtained from a commanding officer, or you can 
visit the website Federal Voting Assistance Program website
To cast your absentee ballot in person, please keep an eye on the 
Board of Elections page to see important dates for elections. 

Frequently asked questions for military voters

Questions for all UOCAVA voters

What is UOCAVA?
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) extends federal absentee voting rights to Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens.

Who is covered under UOCAVA?
UOCAVA covers U.S. citizens who are 18 or older AND active duty members of the Uniformed Services, Merchant Marine, or commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; their eligible family members; and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.

What is the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)?
UOCAVA citizens can use the FPCA to register to vote and request an absentee ballot simultaneously. They can also use the FPCA to update their contact information.

What is the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB)?
The FWAB is an emergency backup ballot for UOCAVA citizens who did not receive an absentee ballot from their state in time to participate in the election.

When will I get my ballot?
Election offices are required to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election. If you requested your ballot by email, then the ballot should arrive right away. Mailed ballots will take longer to arrive depending on the postal system in the country where you are located.

What if I do not get a ballot?
If you do not receive an absentee ballot in time to return it to your state, you can use the FWAB as a backup ballot to vote for federal offices. If your official absentee ballot arrives after you send in the FWAB, then you can fill out and send in the official ballot as well. Your state will count only one.

FAQs for the FPCA and FWAB

Do I have to choose a classification?
Yes. This is how you tell the election office that you are eligible to vote absentee under UOCAVA.

Can my immediate family members vote absentee?
Spouses and children who live away from their voting residence can request an absentee ballot using the FPCA. However, if they currently live where they are registered to vote, then they are not covered by UOCAVA and should vote at the local polls, or request an absentee ballot according to state guidelines.

I am the spouse of a Service member. Can I use the same residence or domicile as my Service member for my voting residence address?
Yes, you are allowed to retain the same residence or domicile that your Service member has established, even if you have not physically been present at that address. If you choose, you may instead elect to retain your established residency or domicile (if different from your sponsor).

You are not permitted to choose any state; you or your service member must have established residency in a state. Ways to do this may include voting, paying taxes, owning property, holding a driver's license, and registering a vehicle. Residency requirements vary by state. Please consult legal counsel to discuss tax implications and other effects of the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act (MSRRA).  

Does voter registration affect my tax status?
You can vote for federal offices without a change to your tax status, but voting for non-federal offices may result in state and local taxation. There may also be tax implications when changing your residence from one state to another. We recommend that you seek legal advice when changing your voting residence.

What is my U.S. voting residence address?
Your U.S. voting residence address is used to determine where you are eligible to vote. For military voters, it is usually the last address you lived at in your state of legal residence. For overseas citizens, it is usually the last place you lived at in the U.S. before moving overseas. You do not need to have any current ties with this address.

Can my voting residence and current address be the same? 
No. In order to vote absentee, you must be living outside of your voting district.

Do I have to give my current address if I am asking for my absentee ballot by email or fax?
Yes. The election office needs your current address to confirm that you are eligible to vote absentee under UOCAVA. This is especially important for citizens residing outside of the U.S.

How do I email my form?
Only email your form if your state will accept it this way. After printing and signing your form, scan and attach it to an email addressed to your election office. Do NOT send your form to FVAP.