ELECTION DAY: Citizens have many ways to vote

Published 5:40 pm Friday, August 21, 2020

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Stanly County Board of Elections Director Kim Blackwelder is making a push to make sure residents know their options on voting this fall.

“A lot of voters are unaware that we will be voting in-person,” Blackwelder said.

Even though Election Day is just over 11 weeks away, voting actually begins next month.

Dates to Remember

Key upcoming dates to remember include:

• Absentee by mail voting is available Sept. 4 to Oct. 27.

• Voter registration deadline is Oct. 9. These requests are accepted in-person and by mail for new registrations, party changes, address updates and some other changes. Address updates and party changes can also be accepted for registered voters by email and fax.

• Absentee voting for sick and disabled individuals is Oct. 27 to Nov. 2.

• The deadline to hand deliver an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. Nov. 3.

• Mailed ballots must be received by 5 p.m. Nov. 6.

• Election Day polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3.

• Voters who are not registered by the Oct. 9 deadline can register and vote early at the early voting polling places.

Absentee By-Mail Voting

To vote absentee by-mail, a voter, voter’s near relative or legal guardian can complete a request form on the Stanly County Board of Elections website at www.votestanlycountync.gov or at the office at Stanly Commons in Albemarle.

Forms are accepted by mail, email, fax or in-person. They have to be signed by the voter, relative or legal guardian.

When voting absentee by-mail, individuals will receive a packet in the mail with the ballot, instructions and return envelope.

The person voting must read the instructions and vote the ballot in the presence of the required number of witnesses. The voter and the witnesses will provide information and sign the return envelope. Ballots can be submitted by mail and in-person.

Absentee ballots must be returned to the board of elections by 5 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 3). Absentee ballots received after 5 p.m. on Election Day will be counted only if they are postmarked on or before Election Day and received by mail no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 6.

In 2016, Blackwelder said the board of elections issued 928 ballots by mail and 708 were returned and counted. So far in 2020, more than 800 requests have been made for mail-in ballots.

Absentee Early Voting

Absentee early voting will be from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Oct. 15-30 and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 31 at the following locations:

• Stanly County Commons, DSS Auditorium, 1000 N. First St., Albemarle;

• Locust Town Center, Joel Huneycutt Community Room, 186 Ray Kennedy Dr., Locust;

• New London Fire Department, 310 S. Main St., New London; and

• Norwood Community Building, 247 W. Turner St., Norwood.

Voters may vote at any of these locations. A voter will be asked to give their name and address so the official can locate the record in the community, make any updates and print an authorization form to verify and sign. The voter will then take their signed form to a ballot official who will issue their ballot in a folder with instructions.

The Board of Elections says Early Voting is a form of absentee voting.

Curbside voting is available for voters who are unable to enter the building because of age or physical limitations.

Election Day

On Election Day, voters must cast their ballot at the polling place assigned to their precinct. This is determined by the voter’s home address. Curbside voting is again available for individuals who need assistance.

Provisional ballots are available for individuals who questioned about their eligibility to vote. A precinct official will offer this option. The ballot will be sealed after voting and sent to the Board of Elections office for verification of eligibility.

“We just want to make sure everyone’s confident in the voting process and if they have any questions or doubts, they can call us,” Blackwelder said.

The number to the board of elections office is 704-986-3647.

Staff Writer Chris Miller contributed to this report.