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What you’ll need to know before casting that ballot for Nov. election
From in-person early voting to absentee basics
 
Published Wednesday, October 14, 2020 8:07 pm
by Kristen Johnson

FILE PHOTO
A record number of ballots are expected to be cast by North Carolina voters in the general election, both in person and via mail

Early in-person voting is underway in North Carolina.


The 2020 general election is Nov. 3 and elections officials are preparing for high voter turnout, driven by the presidential race between incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.


Like every presidential election, this one has been extremely important as many issues are on the ballot. In the midst of a global pandemic and racial reckoning in the country, voters are being even more careful about their plans to get to the polls or send their mailed ballots.


Here are some key dates to keep on your radar. Remember to check your county board of elections to find hours and exact polling site.


• Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day across the country.


• North Carolinians can vote early in-person at designated sites Oct. 15-31.


• To vote by mail, you can request a ballot until Oct. 27. Be sure to have a witness observe you marking the ballot and sign the provided envelope, which must be postmarked  by Nov. 3. The ballot can also be returned in person to the county board of elections office by Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.


More information about the technicalities of mail-in ballots can be found on the State Board of Elections webpage.


• Oct. 9 was the last day to register online to vote in North Carolina. You can still register in person and cast a ballot during the early voting period.


Check your registration status
• The State Board of Elections website keeps a record of all registered voters and you can find your status by searching your first and last name and the county you live in.

• The board of elections will provide your voter status, designated polling site and a sample ballot at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup.


Can you vote with a conviction?
Yes. However, there are some restrictions for the incarcerated as well as returning citizens.


Learn more about your rights as a voter in the criminal justice system at www.ncsbe.gov/registering/who-can-register/registering-person-nc-criminal-justice-system#i-have-completed-my-felony-sentence.


What about local and district candidates?
You can find who is running for local and district offices by searching candidates as well as a voter guide at https://ncvoterguide.org/profiles.


Do I need to bring ID?
Say it with us: NO.
However, if you registered to vote by mail and did not provide your last four digits of your social security number on your form, you should bring an acceptable ID such as a driver’s license, passport, military/student/employee ID, or a copy of a utilities bill, bank statement or paycheck.


If you don’t have any of those forms of ID, you can still obtain a provisional ballot. Information about these types of ballots can be found at www.ncsbe.gov/voting/provisional-voting.
What if you are in the military or currently overseas?


Follow these steps according to Democracy Works:


Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but the state may offer other options to request and return ballots.


Contact your election official for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
• Fill out the Federal Post Card Application, or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can

reach you.


• Send the application to your election official.


• It is never too early to submit an FPCA. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.

• Fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.


If you haven't received your ballot, contact your local election office.


If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:


• You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.


• If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.


The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in North Carolina. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov.


Where can I vote in-person and what should I bring?
The state Board of Elections and your county’s board of elections has information. You can find your exact polling site ahead of the election and find COVID-19 guidelines about in-person voting.


You can also find polling site online at https://vt.ncsbe.gov/PPLkup.


You should bring a mask, hand sanitizer, and any information you need to remember about voting in person. More tips are available via the state Board of Elections website: www.ncsbe.gov/voting/voting-and-coronavirus.


What if I suspect suppression?
There are resources available to report instances of voter suppression. Some recommendations:


• 866 Our Vote, Election Protection


https://protectthevote.net


Vote.org
• Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights


https://lawyerscommittee.org/project/election-protection


Where to find more information about voter rights
Refer to the State Board of Elections for any and all information pertaining to your rights as a voter and information you need to vote safely and fairly. Every county has a board of elections as well.


N.C. State Board of Elections:


www.ncsbe.gov


Mecklenburg Board of Elections


www.mecknc.gov/BOE

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