NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - As of Oct. 6, North Carolina had more than 7.2 million registered voters, and for those looking to join those ranks, a key date is on the horizon.
The deadline to register to vote traditionally is Friday Oct. 9—meaning anyone who plans to vote in-person on Election Day, Nov. 3, or absentee vote by mail must be registered or have their application in the mail by 5 p.m.
To register to vote in North Carolina, you must be 18 years old or older, a U.S. citizen who meets N.C.'s residency requirements, and not currently serving a felony sentence. Felons who have completed their sentence, including any fines and probation, can have their registration reinstated.
Registration can be done through the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, or by filling out a voter registration form and returning it to the applicable county board of elections.
To make sure the process is a smooth one, election officials recommend having your North Carolina driver’s license number, or the last four digits of your social security number. Otherwise, voters will need to show proof of residency when turning up to vote for the first time.
“Depending upon their circumstances, if they do not have that information on the form, we’ll process the registration, but then they may be prompted to show ID when they first vote,” said New Hanover County Elections Director Rae Hunter-Havens.
Those who are not able to register by the Oct. 9 deadline do have another option: Eligible voters can register and vote at the same time by going in person to a one-stop early voting site.
WECT has received a handful of emails and phone calls questioning recent third-party efforts involving registering to vote.
This week, the North Carolina State Board of Elections issued a notice about a third party effort that sent 11,000 registration forms with pre-filled information, some of it incorrect.
Hunter-Havens said for anyone concerned about a third-party form or mailing, they should contact their local board for help.
In some cases, she said she’s had questions from voters about mailers indicating they aren’t registered, or haven’t requested a ballot when they know they have.
She said the first thing to do is check the state board’s website to verify their voter registration.
"If they don’t have access to that, or they need a little more traditional help, they certainly can call our office, and we are happy to sort of help walk them through that.”