10 facts about voting in North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Voting (WGHP file photo)

Voting (WGHP file photo)

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As we get closer to Election Day, here are 10 facts about voting in North Carolina during the pandemic provided by the North Carolina State Board of Elections:

  1. In 2020, three voting options are available for voters: absentee by-mail, in-person early
    voting and Election Day voting. Voters can decide which option works best for them.
  2. North Carolina allows all voters to cast an absentee ballot by mail. No special circumstance
    is needed. To request a ballot, fill out an absentee ballot request form here:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Forms/NCAbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf. The
    form may be mailed or returned in person to your county board of elections.
  3. Elections officials in states where all voters vote by mail have cautioned against trying to
    switch to all-mail voting overnight. It takes years to change laws, purchase high-speed
    equipment to count by-mail ballots, train new workers to process ballots and ensure security
    of the ballots at every step. In-person voting remains even in states that use all-mail voting to
    allow voters with disabilities or accessibility needs to receive assistance.
  4. Through a new partnership, NC Division of Motor Vehicles’ customers may now apply
    online to register to vote or update their voter registration address and political affiliation.
    The service is available here: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/officesservices/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx.
  5. In March 2020, the State Board office provided recommendations for legislative changes to
    make by-mail voting simpler and more accessible, assist in poll worker recruitment, and
    ensure funding is available for changes in election processes resulting from COVID-19 The
    State Board updated the recommendations in April.
  6. The State Board has a dedicated webpage, NCSBE.gov/Coronavirus, where voters can find
    up-to-date information about elections during the pandemic.
  7. The North Carolina Task Force on Elections and COVID-19 Response first met in March 2020. Made up of state and county elections officials and an Emergency Management
    representative, the group is providing advice on steps necessary to respond to the pandemic
    and ensure voting is safe and accessible in 2020.
  8. Elections officials are in regular contact with state and federal health and emergency
    management officials to ensure proper sanitation and safeguards are in place to protect
    against the spread of the virus during elections.
  9. The federal CARES Act of 2020 will provide nearly $13.1 million to North Carolina to
    address elections-related issues arising from the pandemic, provided that the state provides
    $2.2 million in matching funds. The money will be used to help the 100 counties conduct
    elections during the pandemic.
  10. Elections officials encourage teachers, students and younger North Carolinians to serve their
    communities and democracy as poll workers in 2020. We need the public’s help to make
    elections safe and accessible – now more than ever.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

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