Student Government Association

FAQ: Registering to Vote

All the information you need to know about resgistering to vote!

Important documents from the New Hanover County Board of Elections:

Student Voter Guide

When do I need to register?
Voter registration closes 25 days prior to each election. The registration deadline for the 2015 municipal elections is October 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Where can I get a registration form?
Forms can be downloaded from the New Hanover County Board of Elections website at They are also available at the Board of Elections office and all branches of the New Hanover County Public Library. All forms must be mailed or delivered to the Board of Elections office, located at 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 38; Wilmington, NC 28403, on or before the registration deadline. The government complex is just a few blocks from campus.

Do I need to register at my home address or school address?
State law allows students to claim their college community or their home for voting purposes. However, if the student has the intent of returning to their home residence following graduation, he/she should register in that jurisdiction.

Is my registration valid statewide?
No. Voter registration is by county. You must be registered in the county in which you cast your ballot in order for it to count. If you are registered in another county in NC (or another state), you are not eligible to vote in New Hanover County unless you register in this jurisdiction by the voter registration deadline.

I want my registration to stay in my hometown, but won't be able to get home for the election. How can I vote?
All states offer voters the option of requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to them. Contact your home county's Board of elections to find out their procedure for requesting a ballot. You can also visit to find out the requirements for requesting an absentee ballot by mail in each state. If you are registered in North Carolina, you can visit our site at or the state's site and download the State Absentee Ballot Request Form.

I registered to vote in New Hanover County and received a letter stating "601 S. College Road is not a valid residential address." Why?
601 S. College Road is the physical address of UNCW and will not be accepted as a residential address. Students living on campus that wish to register in New Hanover County, must use the physical address of their residence hall (the name of the dormitory alone will not be accepted). You can find the physical address of your residence hall here. In addition to the physical residential address, voters must also provide their campus box number or mailing address for mailing purposes. The Board of Elections must be able to reach you by mail in order to complete the registration process.

I registered with a group conducting a voter registration drive, but when I went to vote I was told I was not registered. Why?
The only entity that can complete the registration process is the Board of Elections in the county in which you reside. Many groups will conduct voter registration drives ahead of an election; and they are allowed to do so. However, if they do not return the completed registration forms to the Board of Elections prior to the close of registration, you will not be registered to vote. If the form is not filled out correctly and it is submitted by a third party group, it may cause a delay in the application's processing. If you want to ensure that you are properly registered to vote, the best practice is to submit your form to the local Board of elections office, making certain that all required fields are properly filled out.

How can I stay informed about voting in New Hanover County?
Visit the New Hanover County Board of Elections' website at or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest information.