Voting with Confidence

Voters in past elections have probably had this experience at least once: It’s Election Day, and you’re in the voting booth. You’re prepared to mark your ballot for President, Vice President, U.S. Senator, and Governor – but what about District Court Judge or Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor? Without any information on the candidates, you may choose not to vote in those races.

Newly registered voters or those who haven’t voted in years may face a different challenge. How can you know if your voter registration information is correct before you go to the polls? How do you know where to go vote?

Check voter information, view your sample ballot anytime, online!

The State Board of Elections is here to help. A new tool on the SBOE web site lets you review your registration information and even view a sample ballot tailored for where you live – all the way down to municipal races and district court judges.

You can print out your sample ballot, identify the Labor 2008 endorsed candidates, research candidates in non-endorsed races, and avoid ballot surprises on Election Day.

The tool also lets you see your voting history, at what address you are registered, and where your polling location is including driving directions and a Google map.

Important dates and deadlines

If you want to vote on Election Day, the last day to register to vote is October 10.

Otherwise, you can register to vote and immediately cast a ballot during the One-Stop Early Voting period, which begins October 16 and runs through November 1.

If you want to register in person during early voting, here’s what you need to know:

To use this process, a citizen must (1) go to a One-Stop Voting Site in the county of residence during the One Stop Absentee (Early) Voting period, (2) fill out a voter registration application, and (3) provide proof of residency by showing the elections official an appropriate form of identification with the citizen’s current name and current address.

Appropriate ID includes a state driver’s license, utility bill, government issued document with name and address, student ID with name and address, a bank statement or bank-issued credit card statement.

See How to Register and Vote at One-Stop Absentee (Early) Voting Sites for more information.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Polls open at 6:30 am and close at 7:30 pm.

Due to the intense interest in this year’s Presidential election and record new voter registration in North Carolina, expect long lines if you wait to vote on Election Day. One-Stop Early Voting is the best way to cast your ballot at your convenience and avoid the wait.

Download our flyer about things to do before election day, early voting, ballot reminders, and knowing your rights.

Ballot reminders

After voting for President and Vice President, you can vote for all candidates of one political party [straight ticket] by selecting that party.

You can vote a split ticket by:

  1. Selecting the party as if you were voting a straight ticket and then selecting any candidate you wish to vote for of a different party; or
  2. Not marking the party and selecting each candidate, one at a time, in each race you wish to vote for.

Judicial races are non-partisan and are thus excluded from a straight party ticket. They must be voted for separately!

Know your rights

Under the law, voters must receive provisional ballots when their names do not appear on voting rosters when they go to vote. If that happens to you, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot!

Contrary to popular rumor: a voter who is wearing a political cap, T-shirt, or button and does not electioneer within the polling place will be allowed to vote in a normal matter.

From the State Board of Elections:

A voter may enter a voting place to vote wearing political items as long as they proceed to vote in an orderly and timely manner, and do not attempt to electioneer within the voting place. A voter wearing a T-shirt saying “Vote for X” who shouts “vote for X” or places his T-shirt in the sight line of voters asking support for “X” is obviously electioneering and will be asked to refrain from the conduct at once, and if they continue will be removed.

A voter who is wearing a political cap, T-shirt, or button and does not electioneer within the polling place will be allowed to vote in a normal matter.

If you feel like you are mistreated when you vote, you can contact the national Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE, Democracy North Carolina at 1-888-OUR-VOTE or call the State Board of Elections (1-866-522-4723).