Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question pertaining to elections in Catawba County, please email us at
Questions for the NC State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement may be sent to

Voter Registration


In a Partisan Primary

  • An unaffiliated voter may choose one party's ballot* to vote during a partisan primary.
    *NOTE: As of 2019, only Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties are allowing unaffiliated voters to choose their ballot. See § 163-119 below.

In a Partisan Primary Runoff

  • If there is a "primary runoff" (or "second primary"), the unaffiliated voter may only vote the same party chosen during the first primary.
  • If an unaffiliated voter did not participate in the first primary, they are free to choose from what ballots are available (see note above) in the second primary.

In a General Election

  • Your party affiliation does not matter during a General Election or in Municipal Elections in Catawba County. Everyone gets the same ballot based on the jurisdictions within which they live.

NCGS § 163-119. Voting by unaffiliated voter in party primary. If a political party has, by action of its State Executive Committee reported to the State Board by resolution delivered no later than the first day of December preceding a primary, provided that unaffiliated voters may vote in the primary of that party, an unaffiliated voter may vote in the primary of that party by announcing that intention under G.S. 163-166.7(a). For a party to withdraw its permission, it must do so by action of its State Executive Committee, similarly reported to the State Board no later than the first day of December preceding the primary where the withdrawal is to become effective.

Fill out a new registration form and send it to your county's Board of Elections office. The deadline to do so is 25 days before an election.

New Registrants or Party Changes

If you are a new voter, have moved from another county, or you are changing your party affiliation, NC law requires you send the original completed and signed document to the Board of Elections office in your county of residence.

  • Mail to: Catawba BOE, PO Box 132, Newton, NC 28658
  • Hand-deliver to: Catawba Board of Elections, 145 Government Dr, Newton

Update to Name or Address

  • If you are already registered in Catawba County, you may mail or deliver your completed form to the address above, or fax to 828-464-9832, or email to

No. You must use a RESIDENTIAL address.

  • State law requires you to register using your current physical residential address. This is where you live--where you normally sleep.
  • You may use any other address as your mailing address.

Note: if you are overseas or in the military, you may use the last residential address you had before moving (even if you no longer have ties to that address).

College students may register and vote in the county where they are attending college (in most situations, the college student could also opt to register or remain registered at the address where they lived previous to moving away for college, and could choose to vote absentee). If a student registers at his or her school address, that registration cancels any previous registration in another county.

So long as a student intends to make the student's home in the community where the student is physically present for the purpose of attending school while the student is attending school and has no intent to return to the student's former home after graduation, the student may claim the college community as the student's domicile. The student need not also intend to stay in the college community beyond graduation in order to establish domicile there.

If you are in possession of completed registration forms, by law, you have 5 business days to submit those to the Board of Elections. Failure to do so could be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Note: The registration books close at 5pm 25 days before an election. The Board of Elections office cannot add or change information after that date until after the election has been finalized. If an unregistered voter wishes to vote after the deadline, they must visit an Early Voting location and present proper ID in order to register and vote at the same time.

If you are holding a registration drive, please, read over the state's rules on Conducting a Registration Drive.

Political Signs

The Board of Elections does not regulate the placement of signs. For questions concerning sign placement, contact the Department of Transportation, the town or city, or the HOA for the jurisdiction in which the sign is placed.

Larger signs do require the disclosure statement; but, regular yard signs with an area of 864 square inches or less (example: 2ft x 3ft) do not need the disclosure statement. For more information refer to the Campaign Finance Manual in the Candidate section of the NC Board of Elections Website.

Personal Property

Any sign placement must be permitted by the property owner.

If you the owner of the property, you may place signs anytime (on your property that is not in the right-of-way). However, please, consult your HOA and city or town to verify compliance with any local rules or ordinances.


According to NC General Statue §136-32(b), during the period beginning on the 30th day before the beginning date of early voting...and ending on the 10th day after the primary or election day, persons may place political signs in the right-of-way of the State highway system as provided in this section.

Determining the Right of Way

To determine the right-of-way boundary, consult the GIS Real Estate Search.
Zoom in to the location in question and turn on the Aerial view. The area between the roadway and the property line is considered the right-of-way.

For more information on sign placement, refer to North Carolina General Statute §136-32(d)

To report a sign violation, contact the candidate or your local NCDOT (DOT Contact information)

If a political sign is placed on your property without your consent, you may remove it. As a courtesy, call the candidate and kindly ask that they have the sign removed.

NCGS §136-32

"(d) Sign Placement. – The permittee must obtain the permission of any property owner of a residence, business, or religious institution fronting the right-of-way where a sign would be erected. Signs must be placed in accordance with the following:

  1. No sign shall be permitted in the right-of-way of a fully controlled access highway.
  2. No sign shall be closer than three feet from the edge of the pavement of the road.
  3. No sign shall obscure motorist visibility at an intersection.
  4. No sign shall be higher than 42 inches [3.5'] above the edge of the pavement of the road.
  5. No sign shall be larger than 864 square inches. [Note: a 3'x2' sign is 864 square inches]
  6. No sign shall obscure or replace another sign."

It is a Class 3 misdemeanor for a person to steal, deface, vandalize, or unlawfully remove a political sign that is lawfully placed as stated above.

Send comments or questions to the NC Department of Transportation. For more immediate assistance regarding DMV-related issues, call its Customer Service office at (919) 715-7000.

Signs may be obtained from the candidate's campaign or possibly from the political party offices in the county.

Buffer Zone Notice - Catawba County polling places and a description of each buffer zone concerning Early Voting and Election Day electioneering.

Frequently Asked Questions for Candidate Campaign Committees

Other election related resources

NC State Board of Elections

North Carolina General Assembly - Find information on NC House and Senate, legislator contact information, review laws and bills, etc.

Federal Elections Commission - An independent government agency, created by Congress in 1974, to promote confidence and participation in the democratic process

Federal Voting Assistance Program - Voting assistance for Service members,their families and overseas citizens