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VERIFY: What Happens If You Have An Emergency Mid-Vote?

What happens to your ballot if you have an emergency mid-vote? That's just one of the questions we VERIFY in the elections logistics breakdown.


The clock winds down on Election Day 2018, and the VERIFY center answers last-minute election logistics questions. From electronic voting machines to election emergencies, we vet the voter information.


  • Charlie Collicutt - Guilford County Board of Elections director


Question 1: Last week, we verified the state of North Carolina is going back to paper ballots in the 2020 election. That means this is the last major election in which some voters might cast ballots electronically. What will happen to the voting machines? How much did they cost?

Answer 1: Collicutt explained the current machines were purchased in 2006 for $7 million, half paid for by Guilford County taxpayers and the other half by a federal grant. He said his office has not been informed about what will happen to the machines and does not know yet if they will be traded or sold to other states.

Question 2: What happens to your ballot, if you have an emergency mid-vote (bathroom, coughing fit, important phone call, etc.)?

Answer 2: Collicutt said you should alert a poll worker, who can leave up your ballot until you return. If you have an extended emergency and need to leave the building, alert the poll worker, explain the situation, and he or she can cancel the ballot and let you start over at a later time (within the voting period).

Question 3: If a voter passes away, how long does he or she stay in the registry?

Answer 4: This question has arisen in light of the voter ID debate. Currently, voters have to tell the poll worker only his or her name and address. What is to stop someone from voting for a friend or family member who has passed away? Collicutt said the elections office gets a monthly report from DHHS and the register of deeds of registered voters who died in the county or elsewhere in the state. Also, funeral homes can send death certificates, so deceased voters are removed from the registry "very quickly."

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Voters who did not vote early or absentee must vote in their assigned precinct.

Do you have a VERIFY inquiry? Reach out to Meghann Mollerus:

E-mail: mmollerus@wfmy.com

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Twitter: @MeghannMollerus