By Terry Schmidt
Pittsboro, NC – There are less than 70 days until election. Have you thought about how you are going to cast your ballot this year?
In North Carolina, you have several methods to cast your vote.
- On election day, November 3, you must vote in your precinct. Most election-day voting locations have changed this year due to Covid precautions. Do not plan on going to the voting location you used in the past, as most likely it will be not be there.
- For two weeks before election day, you can vote in-person at one of the early voting locations.
- You can request an absentee ballot now. If for some reason you might not get to the polls in person, any registered voter can vote with an absentee ballot. That is a great primary or backup plan in case something happens and you can’t get to the polls. If you are not registered to vote, stop everything, right now, and do so. Go here and register. If you have not yet requested an absentee ballot, stop everything, right now, and do so. Go here now. If you later decide to vote in person, you do not have to send in your absentee vote, but now you have a backup plan. Ballots will start to be mailed on September 4. If you vote absentee you cannot later vote in person.
- The North Carolina absentee ballot procedure seems to be secure. Each ballot will have a barcode that the voter can use to check the progress of the ballot from mailing to deliver to voting at the board of elections.
- You can check your voters registration by going to this website: https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/
Sunday Voting. The days for early voting in each North Carolina county are determined by a unanimous vote of the Board of Elections members. This year the three Chatham County Democrat members pushed to expand early voting on Sunday. The two Republican members have voted against Sunday voting. Since they could not agree, the decision now goes to the State Board of Elections meeting on August 31. You can express your opinion at https://bit.ly/3ipadmf no later than noon on August 27. Please do so. Here are some suggested thoughts:
- Sunday voting is not necessary: there are ample opportunities to vote absentee, early, and day of election.
- There are going to be 17 days of early voting not counting Sundays, with an increased number of county locations (6 locations now instead of only 4 in the past).
- A significant percent of voters will vote via absentee ballots due to Covid-19
- County Board members will be driving to 6 sites during the 17 day period of early voting. This involves a lot of mileage and time.
- Leave Sundays as a day of rest for voters, election workers, county BOE staff, and county board members.
- Leave Sundays for religious observance
- Avoid election worker fatigue and stress which can lead to errors
- The fatigue factor also applies to the Chatham County Elections Director, her staff, and the County Board of Elections
Terry Schmidt is chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party