Guilford County stepping up voting help as absentee ballot requests come in

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Guilford County Board of Elections has brought in a record number of voting volunteers to handle a high number of requests for absentee ballots for the 2020 election. 

In a typical year, around 15 people would be brought in. However, for 2020 there have been upwards of 40 people brought in to work day and night. 

“We’ve got a lot,” explained Charlie Collicutt, with the board of elections. “It’s a time-consuming process that requires a lot of manpower.” 

So far, the county has sent out 50,000 absentee ballots, with a few thousand going out each day, and an estimated 100,000 employee envelopes waiting to be stuffed with requests. 

With that increase in request, the county is taking extra precautions to limit the amount of human error. 

On Tuesday, there was a steady stream of people inside the Old Guilford County Courthouse to return their absentee ballots in person.

Some trust this more than BallotTrax, an online tool that allows voters to track their mail in ballots.

While it has been successful overall, there have been moments where it has lagged with updates. 

Collicutt reported that it took a day to update that he had already received his ballot.

“Sometimes the timing issues can make things seem in the ballot tracker like they’re in one place. But maybe it’s not quiet there at that point,” he said.

You have until Oct. 27 to request an absentee ballot, but you should not wait that long stressed Collicutt.

“With some of the lags we’ve seen at the post office, I would not wait that long,” he said.

Next week, Board of Elections employees plan to start running your ballots through the tabulating machines, but they can’t view the results until election day.

Collicut said this is done for two reasons: One, to make sure the system isn’t overwhelmed come Election Day. Two, to allow them to run the ballots a few hundred at a time as to not miss any ballots. 

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