In the face of the pandemic, a record number of North Carolina voters have requested absentee ballots to vote by mail. Now there’s a new, faster, and easier way to request one. Last week, the State Board of Elections (SBE) opened its new online absentee ballot request portal. Any North Carolina registered voter can request a ballot and vote by mail. No excuse is required.
Unlike in-person voting, however, voting by mail is a two-step process. First, you must request the absentee ballot, which is mailed to you. When you receive your ballot, you then mark and return it to your county board of elections either through the mail or at their office. A number of specific requirements apply in order for your ballot to count, including your own signature and that of a witness. Details are provided on SBE’s website.
North Carolina has one of the earliest starts to the voting process in the country this year. Absentee ballots began to go in the mail last Friday, September 4, to voters who had already requested them. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 27, but you should request your ballot as early as possible in order to ensure it reaches you and is returned before the election.
Concern about service cutbacks and delays by the U.S. Postal Service has led to extra emphasis on the importance of returning the ballots early. New Postmaster Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor from Greensboro, is under fire for putting our democracy in jeopardy. Tell President Trump to fire him!
Early in-person voting begins October 15, and county boards of elections are implementing extra safety precautions for early voting sites and Election Day precincts, including masks, hand sanitizers, and socially distanced waiting areas. Early voting will end October 31, the final Saturday before Election Day, November 3. Details on early in-person voting, including a link to the early voting site times and locations in your county, are available here. Early in-person voting also provides the opportunity to register to vote for the first time or to update your registration. Whichever method you choose, make a plan to vote today! And before you complete your ballot, make sure to check out our Conservation PAC’s pro-environment endorsements.