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Voters between the ages of 18 and 24 historically have the lowest voter turnout. With Election Day around the corner, it’s important to understand how to vote in Chapel Hill as a student. 

Mark Your Calendars

  • The voter registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.
  • The early voting period will begin on Thursday, Oct. 17 and will end on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. 
  • The last day to request absentee ballots is Oct. 29 at 5 p.m. 
  • Tuesday, Nov. 5 is Election Day. Vote at a designated voting location between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. or submit absentee ballots to your county Board of Elections by 7:30 p.m. 
    • If you are in line by 7:30 p.m., stay in line; you still have the right to vote.

Voter Registration

In order to register to vote, one must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be 18 years old by Election Day
  • Have lived at your registration address for at least 30 days before Election Day

Students are advised to use their college address in registration to be eligible to vote on campus. 

Citizens can register to vote online through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles if they have a valid North Carolina driver’s license. Another option is to register by paper and submit the registration to the Orange County Board of Elections at least 25 days before Election Day.   

People can also register on-site and vote on the same day during early voting, however this is not an option on Election Day. They will need to bring proof of residency, whether that be a driver’s license or a different form of photo identity, utility bills, bank statements or a current university identification card. 

Voters can check their registration status on the North Carolina State Board of Elections voter search website.

Where Can I Vote?

There are three ways to vote in North Carolina: in person on Election Day, in person during the early voting period or by mail.

Voters' polling place is determined by the address used in voting registration, and can be found through the North Carolina State Board of Elections polling place search tool.

According to UNC's Go Heels Go Vote page, the on-campus polling place is the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, which is located at 150 South Road. The closest early voting location outside of campus is The Chapel of the Cross, located at 304 E. Franklin St.

Do I need an ID?

As of 2024, it is required in North Carolina to present a valid photo identification when voting. While most present a driver’s license, there are other forms of identification, such as a U.S. passport, a N.C. voter photo ID card issued by a county board of elections, a UNC One Card and more. 

If a voter cannot present a photo ID, they can still vote. Voters can fill out an ID exception form and submit their ballot. Reasons include but are not limited to lost or stolen ID, disability or illness and lack of documentation needed to obtain an ID. 

What will be on my ballot?

When someone goes to vote, their ballot will have different positions they can vote for based on where they live. In North Carolina, if a voter already registered, they can get their sample ballot online through the North Carolina State Board of Elections voter search tool.

If a voter is not registered or is registered outside of North Carolina, they can still find out what races are happening in their area by entering their address into Vote411's Voters' Guide page. 

Here are the offices up for election:

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  • U.S. President/Vice President
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Secretary of State
  • State Auditor
  • State Treasurer
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Attorney General
  • Agriculture Commissioner
  • Labor Commissioner
  • Insurance Commissioner
  • State Senator
  • State Representative
  • N.C. Supreme Court Justice
  • N.C. Court of Appeals Judge
  • Superior Court Judge
  • District Court Judge
  • District Attorney
  • County Commissioner
  • Clerk of Superior Court
  • Register of Deeds

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