North Carolina is one of 14 states to hold a presidential primary on the so-called “Super Tuesday.” The ballot also will include primaries for the U.S. House and Senate, the North Carolina General Assembly and various state offices, including governor. And, in Charlotte, there are Democratic primaries for at-large and District 3 county commission seats.
Here's what you need to know.
When Is North Carolina’s Primary?
The North Carolina primary will take place on March 3. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
North Carolina also has “one-stop early voting.” That’s available Feb. 13-29. You can register to vote and then vote at the same time. Sites and schedules vary, check here to find more information.
When Is The Deadline To Register To Vote?
If you wish to vote in-person in your designated polling place, the deadline to register to vote in the North Carolina primary is 5 p.m. Feb. 7.
The deadline to request an absentee form is 5 p.m. Feb. 25. Click here to download the form. To request an absentee ballot, you must submit a signed request form to the county board of elections by mail or in person (it cannot be emailed or faxed).
But keep in mind that if you miss the deadline, you can do same-day registration for one-stop early voting.
Do I Need To Show An ID To Vote?
Nope. A Dec. 31 federal court ruling blocked North Carolina’s photo ID requirement from taking effect. The state is appealing the ruling, but in the meantime, the court order remains in place.
How Do I Know If I’m Registered To Vote In The Primary?
You can check here to see if you’re registered to vote and to see what county you’re registered in. (Note: You must be registered in the same county as your polling location. If not, you must cast an absentee ballot. To learn more about absentee voting, click here.)
Where Do I Go To Vote?
Look up your polling location by entering your address here.
Are There New Congressional Districts?
Yes. After several years of legal battles — including one that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — over partisan gerrymandering, state legislators came up with a new map for North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts in November. In December, a three-judge panel decided the new map would be used in 2020. The old map, which was used in the 2016 and 2018 elections, gave Republicans a 10-3 advantage. Democrats are expected to pick up at least two seats with the new map.
But the congressional race isn’t the only one using a new map this year in North Carolina. The state General Assembly has new districts, too. In Mecklenburg, at least, the new legislative districts are expected to give Democrats a slight advantage.
If you’re not sure who represents you in the U.S. House of Representatives or the North Carolina General Assembly, check here for a tool that shows both the old and new districts.
Who's On The Ballot?
There are Democratic, Republican and Libertarian ballots if you are registered as having an affiliation with any of those parties. If you are registered as an independent, you can choose which ballot you will vote on.
To see an example of your sample ballot, click here and enter your address.
Despite attempts to prevent opposition to President Donald Trump, he will have opponents in the Republican primary. Candidates on the ballot include:
- Donald Trump
- Joe Walsh (has since dropped out)
- Bill Weld
The Democratic primary will have 15 candidates – though some have officially ended their campaigns. Candidates had to apply to be on the ballot by Dec. 3, and since then, several candidates have stopped campaigning.
Candidates on the ballot include:
- Joe Biden
- Michael Bloomberg
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Bernie Sanders
- Elizabeth Warren
- Michael Bennet (has since dropped out)
- Cory Booker (has since dropped out)
- Pete Buttigieg (has since dropped out)
- Julian Castro (has since dropped out)
- John Delaney (has since dropped out)
- Amy Klobuchar (has since dropped out)
- Deval Patrick (has since dropped out)
- Tom Steyer (has since dropped out)
- Marianne Williamson (has since dropped out)
- Andrew Yang (has since dropped out)
The Libertarian ballot lists 16 presidential candidates:
- James Orlando Ogle
- Steve Richey
- Kim Ruff
- Vermin Supreme
- Arvin Vohra
- Max Abramson
- Ken Armstrong
- Dan Behrman
- Kenneth Blevins
- Souraya Faas
- Erik Gerhardt
- Jedidiah Hill
- Jacob Hornberger
- Jo Jorgensen
- Adam Kokesh
- John McAfee
There are also two Constitution Party candidates for president on the primary ballot.
- Don Blankenship
- Charles Kraut
Howie Hawkins is running on the Green Party ticket.
Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is up for reelection. The first-term senator — and former N.C. House speaker — is viewed as especially vulnerable by national Democrats. Tillis is being challenged in the Republican primary by Paul Wright, Larry Holmquist and Sharon Y. Hudson.
Democrats will have to pick one of five candidates: Erica D. Smith, Steve Swenson, Cal Cunningham, Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor M. Fuller and Atul Goel.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
There are six congressional districts in the Charlotte region. In two of them — the 8th District and the 13th District — there aren’t enough candidates to force a primary.
5th District (Gaston, Cleveland)
David Wilson Brown and Eric Nathan Hughes are both running for the Democratic spot on the ticket. The district, which was newly redrawn to include Gaston County, is represented by longtime incumbent Republican Virginia Foxx. She’s not facing a primary challenge.
8th District (Cabarrus)
Incumbent Richard Hudson, who has held this seat since 2012, is the only Republican candidate. Patricia Timmons-Goodson is the Democratic candidate. They will face off in the general election.
9th District (Mecklenburg, Union)
If it seems like the 9th District just held an election, that’s because it did. Republican Dan Bishop was elected in a special election in 2019 after election fraud was found in the 2018 election between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready. (Harris narrowly won that election, but results were nullified, and he did not run again.)
So, Bishop is running for reelection one year after taking office.
His Democratic opponent will come from the primary field: Harry Southerland, Cynthia L. Wallace, Marcus W. Whittman and Clayton W. Brooks III
10th District (Lincoln, Catawba, Iredell)
Republican Patrick McHenry has held this office since 2005. David L. Johnson and Ralf Walters are challenging him in the primary. McHenry’s hometown of Gastonia has been taken out of the district in this year’s map.
David Parker is the Democratic nominee for this seat.
12th District (Mecklenburg)
Democrat Alma Adams, who has been the 12th District representative since 2014, is running for reelection. Her primary opponent is Keith E. Cradle.
There are no Republican candidates.
13th District (Rowan)
Incumbent Republican Rep. Ted Budd is unopposed by his own party, and challenger Scott Huffman is the only Democrat running. They’ll square off in November.
Incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is running for reelection. He narrowly defeated Republican ex-Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016, and during his first two years in office lacked effective veto powers due to a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly. That changed in the 2018 election, and Cooper vetoed several bills in 2019 — including the state budget in a high-profile fight with Republican legislators.
Cooper is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Ernest T. Reeves. Two Republicans — Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and state Rep. Holly Grange — are also vying for governor.
OTHER STATE-LEVEL POSITIONS
There are primaries for many executive-level state jobs, including lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction.
But it’s also an election year for the General Assembly.
Some judicial seats have primaries this year, including many District Court judge seats around the Charlotte region. In Charlotte’s Superior Court District 26A, there are two Republicans running: David H. Strickland and Casey Viser. And Republicans Julia Lynn Gullett and Will Long are facing off in Superior Court District 22A, which includes Iredell County.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY COMMISSION
There are eight Democrats running for at-large seats on the Mecklenburg County Commission, but only three can advance to the general election in November. Candidates include incumbents Ella Scarborough and Pat Cotham, and challengers Lloyd Scher, Brenda Stevenson, Leigh Altman, Tera Lee Long, Tigress Sydney Acute McDaniel and Ray S. McKinnon.
The commission's 3rd District is also in the Democratic primary. Board Chairman George Dunlap is facing a challenge from Cade Lee.
The current Board of Commissioners is entirely Democrat and has three at-large seats. Two of them are held by Cotham and Scarborough and the third by Trevor Fuller, who's in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. There are no Republicans on the primary ballot for county commission in Mecklenburg.
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