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COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 09: A man casts a vote on June 9, 2020 in West Columbia, South Carolina. Georgia, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia hold primaries today. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Election day is Tuesday, November 3 and the 2020 NC Election is one of the most interesting political years of our lifetime. But you don’t have to wait until then to cast your vote. Early voting opens October 15.

Please note: Voter registration deadline is October 9 in North Carolina. However, you MAY register to vote after that date only if you do same-day registration at an EARLY voting site (not on Election day).

Need more information about where and how to vote? Check out the important Q&A links below.

Q: How do I find my polling place or see if I am registered to vote?

A: Your registration status and polling place are available on your voter registration page through the NC Board of Elections Voter Search tool. (See the image below.) Note that during the Early Voting period only, you may vote at ANY of the available locations in the county. On Election Day, you MUST vote at your precinct.

Q: When can I vote in this election?

A: Election day itself is Tuesday, November 3 and polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and you can ONLY vote at your polling site. But there is EARLY VOTING! See below.

Q: What about early (or one-stop) voting?

A: Early voting is open from October 15 to October 31. You can only early vote at ANY one of several early voting sites regardless of your address (this is not the case on Election Day). For Cumberland County, those sites are as follows. Note all One-Stop voting hours are 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays. (If you are not in Cumberland County, find your One-Stop sites here.)

  • Kiwanis Recreation Center (Honeycutt Park)
  • Massey Hill Recreation Center
  • Smith Recreation Center
  • College Lakes Recreation Center
  • Westover Park Recreation Center
  • EE Miller Recreation Center
  • JD Pone Recreation Center (Gray’s Creek)
  • Stoney Point Recreation Center
  • East Regional Branch Library
  • Spring Lake Recreation Center
  • Cliffdale Recreation Center
  • Hope Mills Recreation Center
  • Note that the Board of Elections office is NOT a one-stop voting location this year because of social distancing issues.

Q: Can I still register to vote?

A: Voter registration closes October 9, UNLESS your early vote at a one-stop location. You can register and vote at the same time at any of the one-stop locations until Saturday. You will NOT be able to register and vote on Tuesday, the 2020 NC Election Day.

Q: Who are we voting for right now?

A: As most elections where we are voting on the President are, this is a major election with a lot going on. There is SO MUCH MORE than just the President at stake here. In most areas, these are the offices you can expect to see on your ballot (will vary based on your location but this example is what most in Cumberland County will see):

  1. President and Vice President of the United States (Donald Trump, Joe Biden, several other third-party candidates)
  2. U.S. Senate (Thom Tillis, Cal Cunningham, other third-party candidates)
  3. US House of Representatives (Varies by district)
  4. North Carolina Governor (Roy Cooper, Dan Forest, other third-party candidates)
  5. NC Lieutenant Governor (Mark Robinson, Yvonne Lewis Holley)
  6. NC Attorney General (Josh Stein, Jim O’Neill)
  7. NC Auditor (Tony Street, Beth Wood)
  8. NC Commissioner of Agriculture (Steve Troxler, Jenna Wadsworth)
  9. NC Commissioner of Insurance (Mike Causey, Wayne Goodwin)
  10. NC Commission of Labor (Josh Dobson, Jessica Holmes)
  11. NC Secretary of State (Elaine Marshall, EC Sykes)
  12. NC Superintendent of Public Instruction (Jen Mangrum, Catherine Truitt)
  13. NC Treasurer (Ronnie Chatterji, Dale Folwell)
  14. NC Supreme Court (Three different seats open)
  15. NC Court of Appeals (Several different seats open)
  16. NC State Senate (Kirk DeViere, Wesley Meredith – District 19 race)
  17. NC House of Representatives (Varies by district)
  18. NC District Court Judges (Several seats open)
  19. Cumberland County Commissioners (Three seats open)
  20. Register of Deeds
  21. Cumberland County Board of Education (Several districts open)
  22. Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor

Q: Can I see what my ballot will look like before I go vote?

A: Absolutely! And you should! Seeing your ballot in advance will help you in determining who you might want to vote for, especially in races you might not be familiar with. Head to the voter lookup page and after you’ve searched for your information, click on the Sample Ballots under your name to see what your ballot will look like.

Q: Why does my ballot not have some candidates I expected to see on there?

A: This is probably because of your location. While you may see ads for certain races, they may not actually be for your district. Our region has a large variety of district lines throughout it.

Q: I keep hearing about voter ID. Will I need it to vote?

A: You will NOT be required to show voter ID in this election unless this is your first time voting in the area. If you are asked to show ID, you may request to speak to the precinct captain for further clarification.

Q: Are there any services to help get people to their polling sites?

A: Yes! The City of Fayetteville’s FAST bus system will offer free bus rides to the public on Election Day, November 3, 2020.

Q: Where can I see an official list of all the candidates in all races?

A: The Cumberland County Board of Elections publishes all official candidates that will appear on ballots in the county. Click here to see the report.

Q: What about voting by mail? We keep hearing a LOT about it.

A: Because of the impacts of COVID-19 on gathering in public places, etc., many people are choosing to vote by mail. In North Carolina, voting by mail functions the same as early voting in person – meaning it’s all just an absentee ballot. If you want to vote by mail, however, you need to request your ballot as early as possible, so you’ll have time to mail it back. You can request an absentee ballot by clicking here. And yes, voting by mail in North Carolina is safe. Many people do it every election, particularly with the large military population throughout our state.

If you are not comfortable voting by mail, however, you are encouraged to do early in-person voting at a One-Stop location, or vote in person at your precinct on election day. Note that because of additional health and safety precautions, lines may be longer than typical, particularly on election day.

GALLERY: Voting in 2020 – Adapting to COVID-19


Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige