In addition to our comprehensive coverage of contested local races in Buncombe County, Mountain Xpress hopes to clear up some frequently asked questions about the process of voting in 2022’s general election. Below, you’ll find short explainers on when, where and with what information ballots can be cast.
Buncombe County’s 2022 voting timeline
Mark your calendar! Take note of the following important dates to make sure your vote is counted before state deadlines:
- Thursday, Oct. 20: Early voting begins at 12 locations across Buncombe County. Sites are open 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends. Voters can also deliver absentee ballots to these sites. Eligible individuals not yet registered to vote may use “one-stop” combined registration and voting at early voting sites. More information is available at avl.mx/478.
- Tuesday, Nov. 1: Last day to request an absentee ballot.
- Saturday, Nov. 5: Last day for early voting in Buncombe County. Polls run 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Tuesday, Nov. 8: Election Day. In-person voting will be held in 80 county precincts. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. All absentee ballots must arrive by this date at Buncombe County Election Services, 59 Woodfin Place, or be hand-delivered by 5 p.m., to be counted.
Find your sample ballot
To find sample ballots and check voter registration status, visit the N.C. State Board of Elections voter search website at avl.mx/6nq.
Users must enter their full name and voter status. After searching, the system will display a list of matching names. Selecting your name takes you to a page with sample ballots (located toward the bottom of the page under “11/08/2022 GENERAL”), the address of your Election Day polling place and the jurisdictions of your representatives. If you voted absentee, this page also shows the status of your ballot.
If your name does not show up, you are not registered to vote in North Carolina. If you believe this is an error, contact your county Board of Elections.
Each county Board of Elections also has sample ballots available on its website. Voters are encouraged to fill one out in advance to minimize time spent in a polling place.
Vote by mail
If you’d like to vote by mail, request an absentee ballot through the N.C. State Board of Elections’ online ballot request portal (avl.mx/8ii) or by filling out and submitting an absentee ballot request form by mail. All forms must be returned to the corresponding county Board of Elections by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1; request forms can be mailed, emailed, faxed or brought to the county election office in person by the voter or a near relative.
When your ballot arrives, follow the enclosed directions. You must mark the ballot in the presence of a notary public or two witnesses, who must sign the absentee ballot envelope upon completion.
The completed absentee ballot can be mailed back to the county Board of Elections (you will need your own postage stamp) or delivered to any early voting site or the county Board of Elections. An absentee ballot can be delivered by a near relative, but it must arrive at the Board of Elections or be dropped off by 5 p.m on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Absentee voters can sign up for text or email updates on the status of their ballot through BallotTrax (avl.mx/8il), run through the N.C. State Board of Elections.
Do I need to bring my ID?
Voters will not be required to show photo identification for the 2022 elections, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections. A North Carolina Superior Court has permanently enjoined the law requiring photo ID for voting. Following a trial in April 2021, a three-judge panel in the Holmes v. Moore case concluded that the voter photo ID law violated the North Carolina Constitution. The court’s decision, which was issued on Sept. 17, 2021, means that voters are not required to show photo ID in elections in North Carolina.
However, eligible voters registering to vote at a one-stop voting site must provide one of the following: a North Carolina driver’s license or an identity card from the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles; a current utility bill, bank statement or paycheck showing the voter’s name and address; a student photo ID plus a school document showing the student’s address; or any document from a government agency showing the voter’s name and address.
Having trouble? Call the N.C. State Board of Elections at 919-715-0135, the Buncombe County Board of Elections at 828-250-4200, or 866-OUR-VOTE, a nonpartisan election support hotline by the nonprofit Election Protection.
Other voter guides
The following nonpartisan voter guides offer information and candidate profiles for state and national races:
- Vote411, a bilingual voter guide sponsored by the League of Women Voters, can be personalized to match your sample ballot. avl.mx/8im
- Democracy NC offers comprehensive guides to both statewide and Buncombe County races. avl.mx/c2x
- Carolina Jews for Justice has compiled a voter guide for the General Assembly and U.S. House District 11 races. avl.mx/c2z
- The NC Values Coalition has teamed up with iVoterGuide to create a nonpartisan voter guide that scores candidates on their adherence to “life, family and religious freedoms.” avl.mx/8iv
- The N.C. State Board of Elections 2022 Judicial Voter Guide focuses solely on candidates running for seats on the N.C. Supreme Court and the N.C. Court of Appeals. avl.mx/c2y