Early voting begins today and runs through Saturday, Oct. 31.

Here are tips for early voters:

Plan ahead

Voters can cast a ballot at any of Mecklenburg County’s 33 early voting sites. Click here for early voting locations and hours.

Keep in mind that the the first and last days of early voting are typically the busiest. To avoid long lines, consider voting during during regular business hours.

Review your sample ballot

View your sample ballot by visiting the voter search tool on the State Board of Elections website. Enter your first name and last name, then click Search to view sample ballots, Election Day polling place, voter details, jurisdictions, voter history and absentee request information.

Getting familiar with ballot information before heading to the polls can make a smoother voting experience.

Same-day registration is an option

If you missed the Oct. 9 regular voter registration deadline, you aren’t able to register to vote by mail.

People who missed the regular voter registration deadline may register and vote at the same time in person during the early voting period. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of where they live by showing any of the following documents:

  • North Carolina driver’s license
  • Other photo identification issued by a government agency that includes your current name and address.
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document showing your name and address.
  • A current college/university photo ID paired with proof that you live on campus.

For absentee voters…

If you received an absentee ballot in the mail, you can drop off your completed ballot at an early voting site. Ballots will be delivered to the county board of elections for processing.

Curbside voting is available

Each voting site offers curbside voting for people who are unable to enter the voting place without physical assistance due to age or disability.

Curbside voting allows voters to cast a ballot from their vehicle outside the polling location. Some sites also provide a walk-up area.

Curbside voters must sign an affidavit affirming that they’re unable to enter the voting place to cast their ballot.

Adhere to Covid-19 safety measures

Voters are strongly encouraged to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and adhere to social distancing guidelines at the polling place.

Click here to see more safety precautions and other changes voters will see at polling sites.

Voting twice is illegal

If you requested an absentee ballot but haven’t returned it, then you can vote in person during the early voting period or on Election Day (Nov. 3). You should discard your absentee ballot. Do not send it back in.

Remember that it’s illegal to vote twice in an election and considered a felony in North Carolina. There are several methods in that prevent people from double voting. Electronic pollbooks used at each early voting site include information about who has already voted.

If a voter who has already voted tries to check in at an early voting site, they will be prevented from voting a regular ballot. At that point, they will be offered a provisional ballot that will be researched after Election Day to determine whether it should be counted.

Ballot photos not allowed

You can bring voting guides, notes and other materials into the voting booth. However, North Carolina law prohibits photographing or videotaping marked ballots.

Electronic devices in the voting booth are allowed to access a slate card or candidate information.

Voter intimidation is a crime

Intimidating any voter is a crime. Voters who feel harassed or intimidated should notify an election official immediately.

Buffer zones protect voters from harassment and intimidation when entering a polling place. In most situations, the buffer zone is 50 feet from the site’s entrance. The area outside the buffer zone is considered a public forum.

For more information about early voting, visit the county board of elections website.

View our voter’s guide for more articles and other information.

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