Early voting starts Thursday. Here’s all you need to know.

Early voting in the 2021 municipal election in the Cape Fear region begins Thursday, Oct. 14 and lasts through the end of the month. (Courtesy/ Element5 Digital)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. –– For two weeks, voters will get the chance to cast their ballots ahead of Election Day during the early voting period.

Also known as one-stop voting, this period allows voters to update their registration and vote in one swoop with ease. Early voting hours are generally less crowded with few (if any) lines, offering voters a breezy and convenient option to participate in local elections. 

READ MORE: Catch up on all election coverage


Aside from timing, early voting in New Hanover County also presents an accessible perk: Voters can stop by any polling place within county lines –– regardless of precinct location –– to cast their ballots. Come Election Day, voters must visit the polling place of their specific precinct. 

Brunswick and Pender County voters: Only one location in Bolivia and in Burgaw is available during the early voting period.  

To register or to update an address, voters must show a “proof of address” (like a driver’s license or electric bill). If sharing a bill or statement, it must be dated within three months and it can be shown electronically. 

Importantly, as this is a municipal election, only voters who live within municipal boundaries can cast a ballot –– you can’t vote in this election if you live in the unincorporated county. 

Before stopping by the polls: 

  • Determine if you’re registered to vote at your current address.
  • If your registration is inactive or not current, be sure to vote during the early voting period. Don’t wait until Election Day –– only registered voters can vote on Nov. 2. 
  • Check out a sample ballot ahead of time (after searching and finding your name, scroll halfway down the page to access your sample ballot).

Beginning Thursday, Oct. 14, at 8 a.m. in New Hanover and Pender County and 8:30 a.m. in Brunswick County, voters can begin to cast their ballots early. 

Check out one-stop locations and hours for all three counties below: 

New Hanover County 

Thursday and Friday, Oct. 14 and 15, all polling locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This weekend all will be closed. 

Thereafter, weekdays through Oct. 29 will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23-24 will have hours from noon to 5 p.m. The last day to cast an early ballot, Saturday, Oct. 30, will have hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All three locations host the same hours

  • Northeast Branch Library (1241 Military Cutoff Rd) 
  • Cape Fear Community College Health Sciences Building (415 N. 2nd Street)
  • New Hanover County Senior Resource Center (2222 S. College Road)

Brunswick County 

One location will stay open weekdays through Oct. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last day to cast an early ballot, Saturday, Oct. 30, will have hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Brunswick County Cooperative Extension (25 Referendum Drive, Building N, Bolivia)

If you wait to vote on Election Day, you must vote at your specific precinct –– Brunswick County has 27. View and sample ballot and check which precinct you reside in ahead of time.

Pender County 

One location will stay open weekdays through Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last day to cast an early ballot, Saturday, Oct. 30, will have hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Pender County NC Cooperative Extension Building (801 S. Walker Street)

Pender County has 19 precincts. If you don’t participate in early voting, you must vote at your specific precint on Election Day. First, find out which precinct you live in. Then determine the location of your polling place.


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