Absentee Voting By Mail
Orange County offers absentee voting by mail to all registered Orange County voters who wish to vote by mail rather than at a one-stop early voting site or on Election Day.
Beginning January 1, 2024, all absentee by mail ballots (returned by mail or in person) must be received in the Board of Elections office by 7:30 pm on Election Day in order to be eligible to be counted.
Registered voters may request a ballot through the:
Online Absentee Request Portal
(The online absentee request portal will reopen on January 1, 2024)
Outside of the absentee request portal, by-mail civilian absentee ballot requests must be submitted on the current State Absentee Ballot Request form (all previous versions are obsolete) and must be signed by the voter or a near relative who is making a request on behalf of a voter. Please read the instructions on the form carefully. Your request may be mailed (PO Box 220, Hillsborough 27278), or hand delivered to our office (208 S Cameron St. Hillsborough 27278). Civilian absentee request forms may no longer be emailed or faxed to our office. Voters who receive a mailed absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot has not been returned.
ACCESSIBLE ABSENTEE VOTING FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED VOTERS
If you are a blind or visually impaired voter, you may request, mark, and return an accessible absentee ballot online through the N.C. Absentee Ballot Portal. It is compatible with screen readers and allows for a digital or typed signature. Voters will be asked to provide a valid form of photo ID. If a voter cannot provide photo ID they can still vote by filling out an ID Exception Form. Learn how it works at Accessible Absentee Voting
Voters who receive an accessible absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the accessible absentee ballot has not been submitted in the portal.
Uniformed & Overseas Citizens
Military and Overseas citizens may register and request absentee ballots online using the UOCAVA Portal or by submitting a completed, signed Federal Post Card Application via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (919-644-3318) or mail to the mailing address below. For rules and procedures regarding military and overseas voters, please go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website.
Interested in voting at an early voting site in Orange County? Please visit our Early Voting page.
Submitting an Absentee Ballot Request
Submit an Absentee Ballot Request using one of the following options:
- In person:
208 S Cameron Street
Hillsborough NC 27278
- By Mail:
P.O. Box 220
Hillsborough, NC 27278
- Online through the Absentee Ballot Portal:
A voter must submit a separate request for each election. Please see information on illness or disability for exception.
Who May Apply
Any registered Orange County voter or a near relative of a registered voter may request on the voter's behalf. A near relative, as defined by law, is a:
- Verifiable Legal Guardian
- Additional information for voters with disabilities
Please note: Power-of-Attorney does not qualify as someone who may request ballots on a voter's behalf.
Illness or Disability
While listing an excuse is no longer required for voting absentee by mail, if a voter is requesting a ballot due to a long term sickness or physical disability, and states this in their request, the request will be honored for the entire calendar year (when there are other elections within that year).
Ballots will be available by mail 50 days prior to a Primary Election , 60 days prior to a General November Election (even years), and 30 days prior to a Municipal Election (odd years).
When the time for mailing ballots begins, ballots are usually mailed out within two days of requests being received.
Deadline to Request Ballots
One week (7 days) prior to each election - the Tuesday prior to Election Day Tuesday.
Please note: 5 p.m. is the latest that requests can be accepted on the last day. Postmarks do not qualify.
Deadline to Return Ballots
Deadline is 5 p.m. Election Day. Please see extension exception in the following information:
- Completed by-mail ballots must be returned to the Board of Elections office by 5 p.m. Election Day.
- An extension is given for ballots postmarked by Election Day and received in the Elections office by the Friday following the Election.
Completed, witnessed absentee ballot envelopes may be returned to a one-stop site rather than the Board of Elections during the hours of Early Voting; however, absentee ballot envelopes may not be accepted on Election Day at the polls.