How to register to vote 
In order to vote, you must first be registered in the county where you live. In our state and county, the process of registering has been made easy and convenient, to help ensure broad participation in elections by qualified citizens. 
In short, here’s the registration process:  
  • Obtain and fill out the standard one-page “North Carolina Voter Registration Application/Change of Information Form.” 
  • See that the form gets to your county elections office. 
  • Assuming you’ve filled out the form correctly (it’s not hard), in a few days you’ll receive in the mail notification confirming that you’re registered, what precinct you’re in, and where your polling place is.

Here in our county, you can complete this registration process at any time of the year by visiting the Cleveland County Board of Elections office in Shelby during its normal business hours. You can get the application form, fill it out, and turn it in while you’re there. And the helpful elections office staff can respond to any questions you have on the spot. 

However, if you can’t visit the office in person, you can obtain the application form at many other places, fill it out, and mail or fax it to the Cleveland County Board of Elections (contact/address information on this page).

Where to get a printed registration application form, to be dropped off at the Elections Board office or sent in by mail or fax. You can pick up a copy at the Elections Board office, area post offices, libraries, schools, and many county and state agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles. (See complete list of locations.) You may also contact the local Elections Board office and ask that a form be mailed to you. 

Where to find a digital form you can fill in electronically, then print out, sign, and take, mail or fax to the local Elections Board office. Go to the forms page of the North Carolina Board of Elections website. 

Election deadlines for registration
Ordinarily, in order to vote in any upcoming election in North Carolina, you must be registered to vote at least 25 days before the day of the election. However, if an early voting period is established, you may register and vote during that period.

Check your registration, find precinct
If you are registered, you can find your voter record and check it at the websites of either the Cleveland County or North Carolina boards of elections. Both link to the N. C. Public Voter Search database. Enter your contact data there to check your registration status, see your voting districts, see a record of the elections you've voted in, and (in advance of elections) see a sample ballot for your precinct.


     Cleveland County Board of Elections


      Street Address: 215 Patton Drive, Shelby, N.C. 28150

      Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1299,

Shelby, N.C. 28151-1299

      Telephone: 704.484.4858

      Fax: 704.484.4958

      Normal Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.




How to change, update registration
It's important to update your voter registration if you move from one North Carolina county to another, move from one address to another in Cleveland County, change your mailing address (for example, to a post office box), change your name, or want to change your party affiliation. And it's best to get your registration updated at the time the changes occur and well in advance of scheduled elections.
To make changes, you may use the same form and processes as those associated with new registrations, at left. Detailed information about registration changes is
provided at the North Carolina Board of Elections website, including what to do if you
move close to the time of an election. 

What are the qualifications for registering?
To newly register to vote in North Carolina, a person must sign a voter declaration (included on the "North Carolina Voter Registration Application" form) attesting that:
  • I am a U.S. citizen.
  • I will have been a resident of North Carolina and this county for 30 days before the election.
  • I will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
  • I am not registered nor will I vote in any other county or state.
  • If I have been convicted of a felony, my rights of citizenship have been restored.

More good information
If you have questions or want to know more about the voting process in our state and county, visit the websites of the North Carolina Board of Elections and the Cleveland County Board of Elections. In addition to information on registering and voting, these sites also provide information on such topics as candidate filing and reporting, polling places and precinct voting officials, and historical election results.