Community Development Manager
Greater Raleigh Chamber
A primary election is a preliminary election to appoint delegates to a party conference or to select the candidates for an elected office. Primary elections were created to give more power to the citizens in the selection of candidates for the party’s nomination. Registered voters may participate in choosing the candidate for the party’s nomination by voting through secret ballot.
Who is eligible to vote in the Primary Elections?
Any registered voter with appropriate government issued identification can vote in the primary election.
What is an open primary? A closed primary? What kind of primary does North Carolina have?
In an open primary, a registered voter can vote in any party’s primary regardless of their personal party membership. In a closed primary, registered voters can only vote in the party’s primary that they are currently registered with (voters registered as independent or unaffiliated may choose which primary they’d prefer to participate in).
North Carolina has a closed primary. For example, if you are a registered Democrat in North Carolina, you may only vote for Democratic candidates in the primary. The same is true for those registered as Republican and Libertarian. However, if you are registered unaffiliated or independent, you may choose which party’s primary you’d prefer to vote for, but you can only choose and vote for one.
What time are the polls open?
The 2016 Primary Elections are held on Tuesday, March 15 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Can I register to vote the same day as the primary election?
No. North Carolina no longer offers same-day voter registration except during early voting periods. You can register to vote for the 2016 General Election here.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
Visit the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and utilize the “NC Public Voter Search” to check your voter registration information.
Can I view my sample ballot before voting?
Yes, you can view your sample ballot by visiting the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.
Help! I don’t know where I’m supposed to vote!
You can look up your polling place here.
What’s this I hear about needing an ID to vote?
The March 15 Primary Election marks the first election where voter ID is necessary in North Carolina. This handy resource will familiarize you with acceptable forms of photo identification requirements, what to do if you do not have an identification card, and more.
Are there two primaries this year?
The Primary Election for North Carolina’s thirteen U.S. House of Representatives districts has been postponed to June 7, pending legal challenges. The State Board of Elections is asking voters to vote in every race in March’s primary, even the U.S. House races as a precaution, and if the legal process upholds the proposed June 7 primary, votes cast in the March primary will be invalidated.