Guilford County officials trying to make sure your vote counts

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — 35,000 absentee ballots have already been mailed out to voters in Guilford County.

The County Board of Elections have received 44,000 requests for mail-in votes for the upcoming election. It’s the most they’ve ever gotten. 

So far, officials have already had 470 votes returned. 

But not all of them will count.

14 mailed-in votes were deemed ineligible during Tuesday afternoon’s Guilford County Board of Elections meeting. 

“If a witness has not provided an address, it’s a deficiency,” one of the board members explained during the meeting. 

Mistakes made on the ballot could put it in jeopardy.

The ballots need to include the voter’s address, a witness and the witness’ address. 

Without those elements, that specific ballot will not count. 

“Some folks will put the street address, no city and no state. Some others will leave off the zip code,” explained Jim Kimel, the chair of the Guilford Elections Board. “North Carolina State Board of Elections has said we can count addresses that don’t have zip codes.”

Kimel said it can be difficult to figure out whether or not a ballot will count based on rules set by the State Board of Elections.

Some of those rules haven’t been passed down yet.

“They’re going to tell us what they deemed to be sufficient to validate as far as addresses and signatures go,” Kimel said. 

The board hopes to get more information soon. 

They’re hoping that each time they meet between now and November, they’ll be able to quickly figure out if a vote counts.

“Every time we will be faced with ballots or envelopes that may or may not meet the state requirements,” Kimel said. “Every time, we will do our best to determine if its deficient or not.”

Kimel added that one thing people can do to ensure their vote counts and there’s enough time to remedy any mistakes is by sending ballots in as early as possible.  

That way, the board will have adequate time to send a replacement ballot. 

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