Cary, NC — Due to the uncertainty and risks associated with the coronavirus, North Carolina is seeing a surge of mail-in ballot requests as we near the 2020 General Election.
Luckily, for North Carolinians not wanting to worry about lines and high contact areas at the polls, everyone has the option to vote by mail without needing an excuse. If on the fence about voting by mail or in person, the good news is that a voter can always change their mind and vote in person if they like, even after receiving an absentee ballot. The key is to not illegally vote using both methods.
For those who are registered to vote and considering this method, here’s the rundown on voting absentee this November.
Getting the Ballot
For those accustomed to in-person voting whether it’s early or day-of, expect a slower process with a few additional steps if switching to absentee this year.
The process entails:
- Downloading and printing a State Absentee Ballot Request Form
- Sending/delivering the form to your county board of elections
- Receiving and filling out the ballot with a witness present who can sign it
- Sending/delivering the ballot in by a certain deadline
Depending on if a person chooses to deliver their request form and ballot in person, by mail, email or fax, this process can require a computer, printer, a second person and a few stamps for postage.
The Request Form
For Cary voters, you will need to fill out the ballot request form and send it to your respective county’s Board of Elections — Wake or Chatham.
The form will ask for basic name, date of birth and address information in addition to a proof of identity in the form of a person’s NC driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of their social security number.
October 9, 2020 – To Register
To vote absentee or on Election Day in person, October 9, 2020, is the deadline to be registered in your county. (You can register after this online is you register and vote same day during the early voting period (Oct. 15-31).
October 27, 2020 – To Request Absentee Ballot
Voters can send in their ballot request anytime from now until 5 PM on October 27, 2020, exactly one week prior to Election Day. The forms can be delivered to your county board of elections in person, by fax, email or mail.
November 3, 2020 – To Cast Vote
Once completed, signed by a witness and placed in it’s own unique return envelope, the ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day. All ballots delivered no later than 3 days after election day will be counted.
For more information on voting absentee in NC, here are a few helpful state and local resources.
- The North Carolina State Board of Elections
- Wake County Board of Elections
- Chatham County Board of Elections
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