GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nov. 3 is Election Day. There is no shortage of conversation on social media about how you're hoping the president or the governor will be voted back in or voted out. Either way, you'll need to vote to make that happen. Folks are getting texts like this:
"Hi, William (yes, they call you by name) you will soon receive a vote by mail application. Will you return the application?”
Is this someone trying to steal your vote? Most likely, no.
“We know many groups are sending out requests for absentee ballots. The requests itself isn’t a ballot, it's a request for a ballot,” explained Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt. “ As long as it's blank, a voter can use it. And please send it to the Guilford County Board of Elections, do not send it to any other organization.”
North Carolina will be the first state to mail out absentee ballots. The mailings begin on September 4. To get your ballot, you first have to fill out a request form.
Still not sure about it? Then get an absentee ballot yourself. It's a three-step process:
1. Request the ballot --online, by mail, by phone or in-person
3. Return the ballot -- by mail or you can hand deliver it either during early voting to the polls or the elections office or on election day only at the elections office
The requesting and ballot process can be time-consuming if you do it all by mail. Don't wait until the last couple of weeks.
Here are some key dates to keep in mind:
Oct. 27: The last day to request an absentee ballot is a week before the election
Oct. 9: The last day to register to vote
How will the BOE keep your drop-off absentee ballots safe?
Collicutt said, "There will be no anonymous drop-offs. Each drop-off box will be manned. Each vote will be logged."
You're hearing people call it a “mail-in” or “by mail” ballot or “absentee ballot”. Is there a difference?
“Absentee voting is a catchall name. When you vote by getting a ballot we mail to your house, it's called absentee by mail-in voting. You’re absent from the polls, but you're voting by mail," said Collicutt.
Straight from the Guilford County Frequently Asked Questions page:
What happens if you request an absentee ballot, can you change your mind and go to the polls? Yes. Simply destroy the absentee ballot and go to early voting or vote on election day.