Are You Ready to Vote?

Are You Ready to Vote?

Voting is happening now, and uncertainty still dominates the news.

  • Will we be able to vote safely in person? The answer is yes! County Boards of Elections have taken great pains to make voting safe for poll workers and voters.
  • Will some precincts be closed? That is not clear at this point, but recruitment of poll workers has been strong.
  • Will there be long lines? Early Voting has been strong and is breaking records! That bodes well for Election Day having shorter lines.
  • What if I want to vote by mail? You can still vote by mail (provided you submitted an application for your absentee ballot by Oct. 27), but you need to send in your ballot as soon as possible.
  • How do I know if my absentee ballot has been accepted? If you have a valid absentee request on file with your county board of elections, you can use North Carolina BallotTrax to determine its status.

North Carolina has a long ballot this fall, with races ranging from city/county to state to federal.  The presidential election is attracting the most attention, but Congress, the NC General Assembly and Governorship, as well as other statewide and local offices such as judges and school boards are on the ballot as well, and these affect our everyday lives just as much. 

There is a lot to learn this year about how to cast a ballot. We at Carolina Jews for Justice want you to have all the information you need. So here are some of the basics, followed by a list of where to find more information!

Important Dates and Deadlines:

  • Deadline for voter registration was October 9, but you can still register or update your registration in person during Early Voting.
  • Early voting (October 15-31, hours vary by county)
  • Election Day (November 3 from 6:30 am – 7:30 pm)
  • Vote by absentee ballot (also known as vote by mail). 
    • Deadline to request an absentee ballot was October 27 at 5 pm. 
    • Deadline to return ballot: Postmarked by November 3rd and must arrive by mail by Thursday, November 12th. If you are mailing your ballot close to this date, do so from a post office so that your envelope will have a postmark.
    • Mail well ahead of these deadlines to allow time for the Board of Elections to contact you if there are errors on your ballot request or ballot submission (e.g., missing signature, etc.). Mail early also because of potentially slow mail delivery.

Important Notes: 

  • No photo ID is required to vote!
  • If you are voting in person for the first time voting in your county, you may need to bring some proof of residency, such as a driver's license, bank statement, utility bill, or other official correspondence with your name and current address.
  • Utilize You Can Vote for information and links for everything you need for voting. 
  • If you have questions about voting or problems at the polls, call Democracy NC's toll-free hotline: 888-OUR-VOTE (888-687-8683).

Here’s a breakdown for each step in the voting process and how to find information. When in doubt, go to the website of your local Board of Election. The information provided here is just an overview. 

Voter Registration 

The only way to register to vote or update your registration in time for this election is to go to an Early Voting polling place in your county!

  • If you plan to vote on Election Day, check to be sure you’re registered at the State Board of Elections website: You can check your registration, and if you’re registered, you can find information about your polling place for Election Day. 
  • If your registration is not up to date, you can still register and vote during Early Voting through same-day registration. Just go to an Early Voting site in your county to register and cast your ballot.

Voting by Mail (Absentee Ballots)

Given all the uncertainties about what November would look like, many voting rights groups urged people to request an absentee ballot.  If you decide now to vote in person, or if your absentee ballot has not been accepted, you do not need to use the absentee ballot. At this late date, it is best to vote in-person either through Early Voting or on Election Day.

If you have a valid absentee request on file with your county board of elections, you can use North Carolina BallotTrax to determine its status.

Early Voting

  • You can register and vote during the 17 day early voting period.
  • Early Voting continues through October 31st, and sites and hours are available through the NC Board of Elections website for your county’s Board of Elections. Hours may vary from county to county, and even across sites.

What’s On the Ballot

  • You can view your ballot ahead of time when you are already registered and search your registration on the State Board of Election website.
  • You Can Vote has a web page that shares which elected officials make decisions about important issues. Additionally, they are producing short videos about important issues and what elected offices are relevant to each. You may view all this information here.
  • Vote411 is a nonpartisan compendium of information about every election, including comprehensive candidate information. This website is maintained by the League of Women Voters. 

If you want to get involved in helping to make this election safe and accessible to all, check out CJJ’s new voting rights webpage.

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  • Marilyn Hartman
    published this page in Blog 2020-07-21 14:15:20 -0400