In Primary Elections, each party nominates candidates to run in the General Election.
North Carolina holds what is known as a closed primary. This means voters may only vote in their party’s primary. Persons affiliated with a party, vote for the person they want to be represented by in the General Election. For example, if you are registered as a Democrat, you can only vote the Democratic ballot or if Republican, you can only vote the Republican ballot.
Unaffiliated Voters—Both the Democratic & Republican parties allow voters registered as Unaffiliated to vote in their primary. Therefore, these voters are allowed to choose which primary to vote in.
However, no voter is allowed to mix votes between parties. You must vote with your affiliated party or if registered as Unaffiliated, choose one party to vote with.
Primary Elections are held the Tuesday after the first Monday in May of even numbered years
In General Elections, candidates are elected to a particular office. The winning candidate from each party’s primary is placed on the general election ballot.
Each voter receives the same type of ballot in the General Election. Candidates from all parties will be on the same ballot. A voter may choose to vote for any candidate, regardless of party.
General Elections are held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even numbered years.
In Municipal Elections, voters choose mayor and city council members for their municipality. You must be a resident of the municipality to vote in that town’s election. Municipal elections are non-partisan; therefore, no primary is necessary.
Municipal Elections are held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd numbered years.