How to Get Out and Vote

Print More

Elections often produce a lot of voter questions, but this year, the Wake County Board of Elections has one answer: a new website.

2012 General Election Calendar

Oct. 12 Last day to register to vote or update
registration information
mid-October Early voting begins
View locations, dates, and times.
Oct. 30 Last day to submit requests for
absentee by mail ballots
Nov. 3 Early voting ends at 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 Deadline for returning voted absentee
If hand-delivered, ballots must be
postmarked by Nov. 6, and
received by Nov. 9.
Nov. 6 Election Day
Polls are open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

“We’ve just really found the benefit of putting everything on our website,” said Gary Sims, deputy director of the Wake County Board of Elections.

Sims said the revamped site at answers questions about voting early and voting absentee by mail — the two voting issues he hears about most. The site lists all the early voting locations, times, maps and hours and offers step-by-step instructions for voting by mail.

State and Congressional legislative districts have been redrawn since the last election, which puts some voters into new districts. To find out what district you live in, visit the State Board of Elections website.

Sims said this will be the biggest election the Wake Elections staff will manage in four years. In 2008, the last comparable election, more than 444,000 Wake County voters participated.

Brent Laurentz, executive director of the NC Center for Voter Education, said he expects slightly higher turnout this year than in 2008.

“While there may be some dip in enthusiasm for President Obama since his 2008 campaign, it seems like that will be counter-balanced by an increased enthusiasm among Republicans,”he said. “On top of that, both campaigns have been battling heavily in North Carolina and will put a great deal of resources toward ensuring their supporters turnout and vote.”

[media-credit name=”Courtesy Wake County Board of Elections” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]

Typically, more voters participate in Presidential elections, but it’s the local offices — such as the state legislative offices up this year — that affect local voters, Laurentz said.

Do I need an ID to vote?

No. Despite some discussion on this topic among state legislators, you do not need to provide your identification to vote.

Whether they vote absentee or early or show up on Election Day, Laurentz hopes for high participation.

“These local leaders can have a substantial impact on things like schools, transportation and other quality of life issues that should be important to all voters,” he said. “So I would encourage all voters to take every race on the ballot seriously by getting educated about the candidates and then voting.”

Here’s the breakdown on voting this fall:


How to Register
Registration deadline for the Nov. 6 election: Oct. 12

Requirements: Must be 18 years old and a resident of the state for at least 30 days before the election.

Registration forms: Print from the Board of Elections web site (

Or, voters can fill out paperwork at any of the following agencies:

  • Wake County Board of Elections office
  • Work First
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Food Stamps
  • Medicaid
  • Services for the Blind
  • Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • North Carolina Protection and Advocacy Agency
  • Employment Security Commission

Early Voting
Missed the deadline? It’s possible to register and vote the same day as part of Early Voting.

Click image to view full size, or download the entire print-friendly list at the Wake Elections website.

Election Day Voting
Polls open: 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Find your polling place at on the Board of Elections website.

Absentee Voting
Ballot request letters are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 30. No emails accepted. Attach postage to the ballot and return it by Election Day.

The letter must include:

• Request Statement (“I am requesting an absentee ballot for the _______ Election.”)
• Name of voter
• Residential address of voter
• Address where ballot should be mailed (if different from residential address)
• Date of birth of voter
• Telephone number
• Signature of voter or near relative* (indicate relationship with voter)

Comments are closed.