- How do I register to vote?
There are a few ways you can register to vote. You can download an application, fill it out, sign it and mail it to:
Gaston County BOE
P.O. Box 1396
Gastonia, NC 28053
You may also fill out an application in person so stop by our office located at:
410 W Franklin Boulevard
Gastonia, NC 28052
Applications to register to vote can be found in most City and Town Halls, libraries and the Gaston County Administration Building. Existing NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customers may submit their voter registration application online through the DMV.
- What are the eligibility requirements for registering to vote in Gaston County?
- You must be a United States citizen.
- You must be 18 years old.
- If you are 17 but will be 18 before the next election, you can register to vote within 60 days of the election. If there is a primary, you can register within 60 days of the primary provided you will be 18 before the general election.
- You must be a resident of Gaston County, North Carolina, for 30 days before the election in which you intend to vote.
- You must not vote in any other county or state after submitting a voter registration application in Gaston County. If registered elsewhere, you understand that you are canceling that registration upon becoming registered to vote in Gaston County.
- You have not been convicted of a felony, or if convicted of a felony, you have completed your sentence, including any probation or parole. (Citizenship and voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of the sentence. No special document is needed.)
- How do I know if I'm already registered?
You can check your current voter registration information online. Please remember that you only have to register once. The only reason your voter registration would ever be removed without your request is due to you moving and registering in another county, death, going inactive for two federal elections or being convicted of a felony.
- How do I change my address or political party affiliation?
Regardless of the changes you want to make, there are two ways you can do this. The easiest is to find your Voter Registration Card, mark the changes you wish to have made, sign it and mail it to our office. If you don't have your Voter Registration Card, just download and complete an application and send it in. All changes must be made 25 days before an election.
- I've registered to vote and was sent a card in the mail, what do I do with it?
This is your Voter Registration Card and it is so you can have a record of what information we have on file for you. If everything on the card is accurate, you just keep it for your information. If there are ever any changes that need to be made, just mark them on this card, sign it, and mail it in. It is already self addressed for your convenience. Please also note that your Voter Registration Card is not required to vote.
- Why can't I register as an Independent?
NC currently recognizes political parties: Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian. If you choose not to select one of these options as your political affiliation, then you will automatically be marked as "Unaffiliated." This means you are not a member of any political party. For more information about parties visit the NC Board of Elections website.
- How does my party affiliation affect my ability to vote in a primary election?
If you are a member of a specific party, you are allowed to only vote in that party's primary. Example: Someone who is a registered Republican may only vote in the Republican Primary. If you are "Unaffiliated" then NC does allow you to choose which political party's primary you would like to vote in, or you may opt to vote an Unaffiliated ballot. Once your vote is cast, you may not change it. No one, regardless of their affiliation, can vote in more than one primary.
- Who can vote in a primary run-off?
If a party has a primary run-off, then members of that party may vote in it. If you were an unaffiliated voter who chose to vote in that particular party's primary, you too are able to vote in the run-off. Members of a different political party, or unaffiliated members who chose to vote in a different party's primary, may not vote in the primary run-off.
- How do I request an absentee ballot?
Information needed to request an absentee ballot can be found on the Board of Elections Vote by Mail page.
- How do I become a precinct official?
Gaston County has paid volunteers to help with the One-stop voting sites as well as all polling sites on Election Day. If this is something you're interested in, please print off an application (Gaston County Precinct Official Application), fill it out and mail it to our office.
- Can I hold a registration drive?
Yes! Anyone can hold a registration drive. The board of elections office will not only give you supplies, but also a little training to help ensure your registration drive is a success! For more information on how to organize a registration drive, visit the Board of Education Hosting Voter Registration Drives page.
- How do I find my representatives?
You can find your jurisdictions listed on your Voter Registration Card. You may also find your jurisdictions by doing a public search for your voter information. If you are still unsure, you can call the office at 704-852-6005 and have a staff member help you.
- Why do I get so many cards in the mail?
Every time the voter makes any change to their voter information, the board of elections will automatically send a new Voter Registration Card. You do not send this card back to the board of elections office. If this Voter Registration card is returned as undeliverable, then a Confirmation Card is sent to the voter. Confirmation cards must be completed, signed and sent to the Gaston County Board of Elections office.
Every time you change your address with the post office, but fail to change your address with the board of elections, you may receive a National Change of Address (NCOA) card. This is prompted when the elections office and the post office compare addresses and see there is a discrepancy. To avoid this, make sure you change your address every time you move with both agencies.
- I have a relative who has passed away, how do I cancel their voter registration?
You can download the Notification of Deceased Voter Form (PDF), complete it and mail it into our office.
- Where do I vote?
Find your polling location online. You may also vote during our One-Stop voting ("Early Voting") which will take place 1.5 weeks prior to an election. One-Stop locations will vary depending on the election.
- When are the polls open?
On Election Day, the polls are open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.
- Where can I view a sample ballot?
If sample ballots are available, they can be found at the Gaston County Board of Elections office closer to the date of each election. You may also find your sample ballot by looking up your voter information from the Voter Search Portal.
- Do I have to show my identification (ID) at the polls?
The requirement to show a photo ID for voting and other associated laws has been struck down by a Federal court. Photo ID is not required to vote. Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) only those who registered and failed to have their information validated prior to an election will be required to show ID when they vote for the first time. Acceptable ID includes the following:
- A current and valid photo ID
- A current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck, a government document that shows your name and address as it appears on your voter registration application
For more information on Voter ID or HAVA requirements, contact the Gaston County Board of Elections office at 704-852-6005
- I saw somebody at the polls today who does not live in this precinct anymore. How do I get that person to vote where he/she is supposed to?
Talk to the precinct officials and file an Election Day Challenge. They have the forms and instructions. You can also contact the Board of Elections office, and we'll tell you about additional options. Either way, thanks for keeping your eyes open!
- What if I am unable to enter the polling place because of age or physical disability?
You may request an absentee ballot. If you prefer to vote on Election Day or at an early voting site but are unable to enter the facility, you may vote outside the voting location in your car. This procedure is called "curbside voting." Look for the curbside voting sign near the entrance to the voting place and park there. A precinct election official will assist you in verifying your registration information and bringing you a ballot. If you cannot locate a precinct election official in the parking lot, please ask someone to enter the voting place and inform the election officials that you need assistance.
- I plan to bring a voter to vote curbside. Can I sit in the car and vote curbside, too?
Only if you also cannot enter the polling place due to age or physical disability.
- I am legally blind. Can someone accompany me in the voting booth?
Yes, you may receive assistance from any person of your choice, except your employer or union agent. Alternately, you may ask one of the precinct election officials to assist you.
- May I sign a voter registration application for someone else?
No, only a voter may sign his or her voter registration application. You are not permitted to sign the form for your spouse, child or parent, even if you have power of attorney for the person.
- Can my Power of Attorney vote for me?
No. If you cannot make it to the polls, you may request an absentee ballot.
- Did you know?
It takes more than 300 people to operate Gaston County polling places each election. These people are your friends, coworkers and neighbors who give 2 to 3 days of paid service to ensure you have a place to vote on Election Day. We need your help, too! More precinct officials are needed in your neighborhood. Do your part to provide voting opportunities in your community.
Benefits of Being a Precinct Official
- Make friends
- Meet people in your neighborhood
- Have fun
- Learn about elections
- Make extra cash
- Looks great on resumes
- Fulfill your civic duty
- What do precinct officials do?
As a precinct official, you will work at one of Gaston County's 46 polling places. Precinct officials set up supplies and voting equipment, assist voters, verify their registration, issue ballots and manage crowds. Precinct officials are assigned to positions based on their strengths, interests and experience.
- Will I receive training?
Yes. All precinct officials are required by law to attend training classes before each election. You will attend 1 to 4 classes based on your job assignment and level of experience. You will receive payment for attending training classes unless you fail to work on Election Day.
- What are the qualifications to become a precinct official?
- Must be a Gaston County registered voter (or become registered if eligible)
- Must not be a candidate or relative of a candidate in the election
- Must not be an elected government official, hold office with a political party or be a manager or treasurer for a candidate or political party
- Must not serve at the same polling place as a spouse, child, spouse of a child, sister or brother
- What are the requirements of precinct officials?
- Must have reliable transportation to and from the polling place
- Must work all day on Election Day (6 am to approximately 9 pm)
- Must assist with the setup of election supplies and voting equipment on the Monday evening before Election Day
- Must not promote or discuss any candidate, political party, policy or cause while working on Election Day
- Must attend all required training classes before each election
- Must work on Election Day in order to receive payment for attending training
- What are some frequently used knowledge, skills and abilities of precinct officials?
- Ability and knowledge to use computers, including opening and closing procedures for voting machines, using laptops and printers for elections applications, voter look-ups, etc.
- Ability to provide information to voters
- Ability to express oneself clearly and effectively in verbal and written form
- Ability to organize and direct the activities of a polling place
- Ability to lift or move voting machines, precinct supply boxes and other materials needed to operate a polling location
- How do I become a precinct worker?
You can apply online or you may also stop by our office located at:
410 W Franklin Boulevard
Gastonia, NC 28052
Fill out an application in person or contact the office 704-852-6005 and speak with our staff.