According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older. Understandably, many seniors have requested and mailed in absentee ballots. For those who have not, there is still time. The deadline for the NC State Elections Board to receive your request for an absentee ballot for the November 3, 2020 general election is 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 27. Of course, the sooner you submit your request, the better.
With only 14 days left until the general election on Nov. 3, of the 7,304,753 registered voters in North Carolina, 1,853,540 (or 25.37%) have cast absentee ballots either by mail or in-person via a one-stop early voting site. Of the votes already cast, 65% were cast in-person at a one-stop early voting site and 35% were mailed in. The State Board of Elections updates these numbers daily here.
For seniors who wish to vote early in-person, they can do so until October 31. To find out where and what hours you can vote early in your county, go to (https://vt.ncsbe.gov/ossite/).
To avoid lines, keep in mind that the first and last days of early voting are typically the most crowded. It's best to vote mid-mornings and mid-afternoons during the work week to avoid lines. When I went to Roberts Community Center in Wake County today at 10:30, there was no line.
Expect to see many safeguards in place to prevent the spread of COVID, such as plastic screen guards when getting your ballot; carefully measured x's to ensure people are appropriately spaced; and one-time use pens to fill out your ballot. All poll workers will be wearing a mask, though no one will be turned away who does not have a mask.
Each early voting site also offers curbside voting for voters who are unable to enter the voting place without physical assistance due to age or disability. Signs should be in place to direct voters to the curbside voting location. Curbside voters must sign an affidavit affirming that they are unable to enter the voting place to cast their ballot.