Editorial: Voting's easy. Here's how. Just do it!

Posted September 14, 2020 5:00 a.m. EDT
Updated September 14, 2020 6:02 a.m. EDT

CBC Editorial: Monday, Sept. 14, 2020; Editorial #8586
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

A few lines below this is a box “VOTE! IT’S A RIGHT & DUTY." During the COVID-19 pandemic, when even simple tasks have become cumbersome the North Carolina Board of Elections, and local boards around the state, are working to make sure voting is simple, safe and accessible. They’ve done a remarkable job while also making sure our elections are fair and the process is transparent. It has not been a simple task and has been made even more difficult by the many efforts to discourage and confuse citizens.

When it comes to voting, we take sides. We are definitely biased. EVERY qualified citizen -- regardless of political affiliation, ideology, ethnicity, gender identity, faith – must vote and access to ballots needs to be simple and plentiful. No qualified voter should have a reason not to cast a ballot.

This box, which will run on the Capitol Broadcasting Opinion pages through Election Day, provides access to help any North Carolina voter cast a ballot. BEWARE: Regardless of what you might hear or even who says it, a voter can only cast a ballot once. Casting more than one ballot (even trying) is a violation of law – a serious one. Don’t do it!

Here’s what you need to know.

Citizens who are North Carolina residents MUST be registered to vote. You can find information HERE about registering online; at a state Division of Motor Vehicles office; at your local Board of Elections or at a sanctioned voter registration event. Find the official information on registering to vote HERE.

More than 758,000 of the state’s 7.1 million registered voters have already requested ballots by mail. Hundreds of thousands of ballots have been sent out and already about 10,000 votes cast have been accepted, according to state voting officials. The deadline to request a ballot to vote by mail is Tuesday, Oct. 27. Get all the official details HERE.

Mail-in voters can even track the progress of their ballot on a special application "BallotTrax." There’s more information about BallotTrax HERE.

Early in person voting starts Thursday, Oct. 15 and continues through Saturday, Oct. 31. All of North Carolina’s 100 counties have at least one early-voting site. Polling places will be organized and staffed to make sure they are safe and provide necessary social distancing to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. There’s more information on same-day registration and early in person voting HERE.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. North Carolina’s more than 2,700 voting locations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All those in line to vote at 7:30 p.m. will be permitted to cast ballots. All polling places will be staffed and arranged to observe appropriate safety procedures and provide necessary social distancing to help prevent COVID-19 spread. More details are HERE.

While voting is an obligation, there are more opportunities for citizens to assist others with voting – and get paid for doing it. State and local officials are continuing to look for “Democracy Heroes” who assist elections officials. Whether you’re a student or senior citizen, your help is needed to work at polling places or provide assistance with mail-in voting at senior centers, assisted care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. To find out how you can help, get more information HERE.

So, if you have questions about voting in 2020 – go to the source. All you need to do is follow the links you’ll find every day from now until Election Day, Nov. 3 on Capitol Broadcasting Company’s Opinion pages.

No matter how – by mail, in person early or on Election Day. Vote!

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