Most people who live in Chapel Hill will vote at the Orange County early voting sites. But there are small parts of Chapel Hill within Durham County. Those residents will need to vote at Durham County one-stop early voting sites.

Wait, there are Chapel Hill residents who live in Durham County?

Yep! There are. And the votes in Durham County can make the difference in a close election. In the 2019 Chapel Hill Town Council election, UNC student Tai Huynh edged out incumbent Nancy Oates for the fourth and final council seat by a mere 24 votes, 3,960 to 3,926. His 22 vote advantage over Oates in Durham County accounted for almost the entire difference. Overall, looking at votes for mayor (for which each voter can only vote once), there were 370 votes in Durham County, and 7,787 votes in Orange County.

How do I know if I need to go to a Durham County early voting site?

The parts of Chapel Hill that are in Durham County are located on the east side, including parts along Pope Road, the eastern edge of Meadowmont (see below), the Finley Forest apartments on Barbee Chapel, and some homes to the east of Barbee Chapel Road. In fact, some of the apartments in the Bell Meadowmont apartment complex are in Orange County, while the rest are in Durham County. And there’s no obvious way to tell which county you live in.

Parcel map along Meadowmont Lane in Chapel Hill, NC with the county line bisecting the image
The dotted line crossing Meadowmont Lane is the county line. Properties to the left are in Orange County (and vote in Orange County); properties to the right are in Durham County (and vote in Durham County).

The easiest way is to visit the NC Board of Education voter search. Put in your first and last name and click search. On the search results page, look for your listing—if it’s a common name, there may be multiple listings, so search for one that is in Durham or Orange Counties.

Near the top of the voter information page, it will list your county. If Durham is listed, you’ll need to vote in Durham County.

Excerpt from the voter information page for a Durham County voter showing their county of residence as Durham

You can verify that you vote in Chapel Hill by looking for the town’s name in the municipality field, further down the page.

Excerpt from the voter information page for a Durham County voter showing their municipality as Chapel Hill

Finally, you can check out the link to the sample ballot. If it’s like this one, and lists Durham County at the top, you’re a Durham County resident.

Excerpt of the sample ballot for a Town of Chapel Hill resident living in Durham County.

The page will also list your election-day polling place.

Where can I early vote?

Durham has several early voting sites. They may not be as convenient to you as the Orange County sites, but they’re easy to get to.

Early voting is available from 8:30 am – 6 pm on weekdays, and from 8 am – 3 pm on Saturday. (There will not be early voting this Sunday!) You can vote at the following locations:

Uh oh, I’m not registered! What do I do?

It’s no problem. During early voting you can register and vote at the same time. But you’ll need to know what county you live in. If you’re not registered and not sure of your county of residence, check your address on the Orange County GIS map to see if the place you live is within Orange County. Visit the Orange County GIS mapping website, click through the disclaimer that pops up on your screen, and put your address in the box.

If it’s in Orange County, the map will show you where it’s located, and you’ll know to go to an Orange County early voting site.

If it’s not there, then your property is in Durham County, and you’ll need to one of Durham’s voting sites. You can also try one of the Durham County mapping websites to confirm.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.

Geoff Green, AICP lives in Chapel Hill. In his day job he's a practicing urban planner; in his spare time he rides his electric bike around town and advocates for improved facilities so that everyone can...