Voter Resurgence 2020: Absentee Voting – Start Your Voting Efforts Today!by Greater Diversity News August 3, 2020
You can start your 2020 voting efforts today! If you want to vote with maximum social distancing, Absentee Voting (AV) in North Carolina can be the way to go. Typically in North Carolina, approximately 4% – 5% of the ballots cast in a General Election are by absentee voters. This year, election officials tell us that they expect that absentee bal- lots could account from 25% to 40% of all ballots cast.
No doubt about it, the desire of voters to cast a “healthy ballot” during the Coronavirus pandemic and hurricane season has fueled the interest in AV!
North Carolina has slowly (many would say too slowly) improved the availability of absentee ballots to the state’s registered voters. You no longer need to provide an excuse to vote by absentee ballot. You no longer must have two “witnesses” to verify your absentee ballot before you send it in. Still, our AV process is not nearly as simple and straightforward as the vote-by-mail operations used for free, fair, and successful elections in five Western states.
Additionally, President Trump and his collaborators, like U.S. Attorney General Barr, are undertaking a disinfor- mation and distraction campaign to cast doubt on mail-in elections. They would like to delegitimize the 2020 Presi- dential Election’s results before a single vote is cast.
With these conditions in mind, you can choose to avoid lines at Early Voting (EV) locations and at polling places on November 3rd by starting the process to cast an absentee ballot right now.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using North Carolina’s Absentee Voting (AV).
Step 1: Check your voter registration status today. Everyone should carry out this step before voting.
Click on this link to the State Board of Elections website “Voter Search” page: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/ .
Enter the requested information and search for your voter registration record.
Once you find your record, print out that record of write down your name exactly as it appears on the record.
If you cannot find your record and want assistance, call the NC State Board of Elections or your County Board of Elections. The appropriate phone numbers are on the next page.
If you find that you are not registered to vote, you should take steps described on the NC State Board of Elec- tions website to get registered to vote today. (Click on this link https://www.ncsbe.gov/index.html )
Step 2: Click on this link to the NCSBE website “Absentee Ballot Request Form” page.
Read the instruction sheet and fill in the Absentee Ballot Request form. Be sure to enter your name exactly as it appears on the results of your Voter Search in Step 1. You can fill in the form online and print it out or you can simply fill out the form by hand, enter the information, and send it in. Be sure to sign and date the form.
Mail the completed form to your NC County Board of Elections address. You can locate it on the list of CBOEs that is on the page right after the Ballot Request form. You have now started voting in the Presidential Election.
Step 3: Watch for your Absentee Ballot to arrive in the mail in early-to-mid September.
The County Boards of Elections will mail the ballots to those with approved requests on or soon after Septem- ber 3rd. That is the established time for the CBOEs to start responding to Absentee Ballot Requests.
Step 4: Fill in your ballot when you get it and mail it back as soon as you are comfortable doing
Follow the instructions closely when filling in, signing, and sending in your ballot. We will have addi- tional information on these steps in early September.
We recommend that you send your ballot in well ahead of the November 3 election date. Take advantage of Absentee Voting to cast a safe and healthy ballot in 2020. Your ballot must be postmarked by November 3.
You may deliver the ballot in person to your County Board of Elections.
In a typical election, approximately 4% – 5% of North Carolina voters cast absentee ballots. Please do not wait until the “crunch time” that will hit in late October and early November.
Step 5: Track the status of your Absentee Ballot’s progress as it is mailed to you and as you re- turn it. The North Carolina State Board of Elections is developing software to help you. We will have more infor- mation on how to use this process when it is available. If you have questions, you should call the NC State Board
Telephone Numbers for Election and Voting Information
NC State Board of Elections (919) 814-0700 or (866) 522-4723