Absentee Voting By Mail

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vote by mailOrange 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.

All by-mail civilian absentee ballot requests must be submitted on the State Absentee Ballot Request form and must have an actual signature.

Interested in voting at an early voting site in Orange County? Please click here.



For rules and procedures regarding military and overseas voters, please go to:

Further Information
If you need more information on absentee voting by mail, please contact Debbie Cheshire or call 919-245-2353.

General Information

Submit an Absentee Ballot Request using one of the following options:

  • In person: 208 S Cameron Street, Hillsborough NC 27278.
  • By Mail: PO Box 220, Hillsborough, NC 27278.
  • Email: - you must be able to attach a signature (not an electronic signature) to the application in order to email your request.         
  • Fax: 919-644-3318.

**Requests may be submitted anytime during the calendar year of an election.
**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 spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepparent, stepchild, or verifiable legal guardian.

  • 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).

Availability of ballots
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: 5:00 P.M. IS THE LATEST THAT REQUESTS CAN BE ACCEPTED ON THE LAST DAY. Postmarks do not qualify.

Deadline to return ballots
5:00 p.m. Election Day. Please see extension exception below.

  • Completed by-mail ballots must be returned to the Board of Elections office by 5:00 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.

A by-mail absentee voter must have 2 witnesses or one notary in their presence as they complete their ballot and application envelope. Ballots will not be counted if returned without completed witness or notary information. "A notary may not charge any fee for witnessing and affixing a notarial seal to an absentee ballot application or certificate under G.S.163-231." G.S. 10B-30(d).

Completed, witnessed or notarized 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.