GREENSBORO, N.C. — No matter which way you choose to vote this November 3, chances are you won't know the outcome of the election until a week or so later. Already, 163,000 North Carolinians have requested an absentee ballot. That means there will be a lot of paperwork to go through for the board of elections. In some states, their primary election results took several weeks, and voter turnout for primaries is usually much smaller than a general presidential election.
How will your absentee/mail-in votes be kept secure? What about your safety at the polls if you choose to vote in-person? Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt answered your text questions on 2WTK. Here are a few highlights:
September 4: NC begins mailing out absentee ballots to those who request them
October 9: Last day to register to vote
October 15-31: Early voting
October 27: Last day to request an absentee ballot
November 3: Election Day
"We're going to be opening a lot of early voting sites in a lot of days, big places-- gyms and such so we can do early voting. Our precinct officials will be wearing masks, plastic visors, we’ll have acrylic shields, gloves, disinfectant. We’ll be offering voters masks if they don't have one and we'll be offering curbside voting for those who due to a disability cannot get into the polling place," said Collicutt.
To get an absentee ballot, you must first fill out an absentee ballot request form. You can do this online by downloading the form and printing it out yourself. You can email, mail, fax, or call your local Board of Elections to request the form be sent to you. You can also pick one up at the BOE.
Forms can be sent you by email, fax, and mail. But all ballots are mailed to you. If you are requesting an absentee ballot and are going to go through this process by mail only, you will want to give yourself several weeks to make sure all documents have time to be delivered.
When you fill out your request form, you'll need to give your DL number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
RETURNING ABSENTEE/MAIL-IN BALLOTS
- All ballots must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on Election Day. You can drop off your ballot at the BOE on Election Day, but not at the polls.
- Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Election Day will be timely only if they are received by mail no later than 5 p.m. on the third day following the date of the election and postmarked on or before Election Day.
- You can also drop off your ballot at an early voting polling site. Early voting is October 15-October 31.
According to Guilford County's Charlie Collicutt, drop-off ballot boxes will be manned. Every ballot must be logged and there will not be any anonymous drop-offs.
"If you got an absentee ballot and you decide you want to vote in-person, just destroy the absentee ballot and come in and vote," explained Collicutt.
HOW TO KNOW YOUR BALLOT WAS RECEIVED
Will I receive confirmation that my absentee ballot request was received and processed? Due to the current volume of absentee requests, we do not routinely confirm receipt. If there is a problem with a request submitted, the voter will be contacted within 5 business days of receipt; otherwise, we process the request, and a ballot should be received by September 30. If a voter or qualifying near relative would like to confirm that a ballot request has been received and processed, send an email to email@example.com identifying the relationship to the voter and requesting absentee ballot status. A response should be received in 5-7 business days.
How do I confirm that my voted absentee ballot was received? After an individual has returned a voted ballot, they may track the status of this ballot by using the voter search tool and viewing the information in the Absentee Request section to track the status of their returned ballot. Important note: this information does NOT show if a ballot request was submitted; this information shows the status AFTER a voter returns their VOTED ballot.
Where Can I Register to Vote?
You may register to vote, make changes to your registration or obtain a mail-in registration form at the following locations in Guilford County:
- Board of Elections Office – 301 W Market St, Room 115, Greensboro or 325 E Russell Avenue, High Point (forms are available in Spanish)
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- In-person/when there on business
- Online when requesting to renewing or updating drivers license or ID information(DMV transaction fees apply)
- Online when requesting only voter registration services (no charge, no changes to an existing drivers license or identification)
- Public agencies
You can obtain a mail-in registration form at any Greensboro or High Point public libraries, or you may download a State of North Carolina Voter Registration form.