2024 Election Tip: If You Plan to Vote by Mail, Request Your Absentee Ballot Today

1 minute read

Leading up to the 2024 primary election this spring and the general election this fall, the Center will offer a variety of tips for nonprofits about nonpartisan voter registration and voter education. We encourage you to share these tips with your staff, board, and the people you serve. This week’s tip: Now is the time to request your absentee ballot.

For many North Carolinians, absentee voting – also known as mail-in voting – is the easiest and most convenient way to vote in elections. With the COVID-19 pandemic, a record number of North Carolinians voted by absentee ballot in 2020. For the 2024 election, the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) has an online portal that you can use to request an absentee ballot. The online application process only takes about three minutes to complete, but it can take a few weeks to receive your ballot. Last Friday, county boards of elections began mailing absentee ballots to eligible voters who have already requested them.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot for this year’s primary election is Tuesday, February 27 at 5 p.m., but nonprofits should encourage people planning to vote by mail to request their absentee ballot early so they receive it in time to return it before Election Day. Absentee ballots need to be returned by 5 p.m. on Election Day and can be returned by mail (as long as they are postmarked by Election Day AND received by Election Day) or in-person at the county board of elections or any Early Voting site. Note that a new law eliminated the three-day grace period for receipt of mailed-in absentee ballots, so practically, voters need to put their ballots in the mail several days ahead of Election Day.

One-sentence executive summary of the 2024 Election Tip of the Week:If your nonprofit has staff, volunteers, or clients who may be thinking about using absentee voting in the 2024 primary election (hint: you probably do!), please encourage them to go to the NCSBE online portal and request an absentee ballot today.

Note: If you missed the first 2024 Election Tip of the Week (checking your voter registration) or want a refresher, feel free to click the link to (re)read it now.

Advocacy & Civic Engagement
Legal Compliance & Transparency
Check out all of our Advocacy & Civic Engagement
resources in the Resource Library