In North Carolina primaries, you vote only in the primary of the party with which you are affiliated. If you register unaffiliated, you may be allowed to vote in a primary if a party allows unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary. Primary elections are usually held in May of even numbered years, except for municipal primaries, which are held in September of odd numbered years. General elections are held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every year.

In the primary you nominate party candidates and in a general election you elect officials for these offices:

  • U.S. Senator (six year terms)
  • U.S. Representative (two year terms)
  • Governor and other state officials (4 year terms)
  • State Legislative officials (2 year terms)
  • County officials (most county offices are four year terms, terms for some offices are on a staggered basis)
  • Municipal officials (term length varies)
  • Board of Education (four year terms on a staggered basis)

In a presidential election year and every four years thereafter you also elect:

  • United States President and Vice-President