NC Black voters warned: “Make sure your vote counts”
By Cash Michaels
Now that Labor Day has officially passed, the presidential debates upcoming starting Sept. 29th, and the Nov. 3rd general election less than two months away, Black voters are urged to pay particular attention to all aspects of the voting process to make sure that their ballot is properly counted on Election Day.
First, check your voter registration status.
If you are not registered to vote in the Nov. 3rd election, you must be 18 years-old (or at least be 18 by Nov. 3rd), and have a North Carolina address for at least 30 days. You may register online at: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/voter-registration-application.aspx, or visit either your local county board of elections office, or local NC DMV office to do so.
You may also use same-day registration if you choose to one-stop early vote between Oct. 15th-31st.
If you believe that you are already registered to vote, and feel you need to double-check your status , just go to https://www.ncsbe.gov, click “Registering” to go to that page, scroll down to the box on the right that says “Checking Your Registration,” click that to go to that page, then, once there, scroll down past “Related Content” to “Voter Search Tool.”
Click that to go to the “Voter Search” page. Once there, follow the instructions to confirm that you are properly registered to vote in North Carolina. If not, then go to the proper page to correct or update your voter registration information.
You must be properly registered no later than Oct. 9, 2020.
Once you have confirmed that you’re properly registered to vote, then you can decide on the several options you have to cast your ballot either before, or on Nov. 3rd.
For instance, if you were one of the over 643,000 North Carolinians who requested a mail-in ballot online, those ballots were sent out on Sept. 4th. You should have received yours by now. If so, you officially have until Oct. 27th to mail your ballot back. However, to ensure that it is returned in plenty of time to be properly counted, most observers are urging you to fill it out, sign it in front of one witness, and then return it promptly (at least ten days before the Nov. 3rd Election Day. Just follow the instructions when you receive it in the mail.
Once you have properly filled it out and signed it, you can physically return your completed ballot to your local county board of elections no later than 5pm on Election Day, Nov. 3rd.
And if you want to return your completed ballot during the early voting period, you can do that by bringing it to any early voting site between Oct. 15th and Oct. 31st.
Beyond yourself, only a close relative can return your ballot for you.
If you mail it back, you can check the SBOE voter search tool online to see if it was received and accepted.
If you choose not to vote absentee or mail-in, as Indicated before, you can one-stop early vote between Oct. 15th thru Oct. 31st. Just check to see where the nearest early voting site is where you live.
All early voting sites will open at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays. The Sites will close at 7:30pm, Monday through Friday, and at 5pm Saturday Oct. 17 and 24th, and Sunday Oct. 18th and 25th
On the final day of early voting, Saturday Oct. 31st, polls close at 3pm.
On Election Day, Nov. 3rd, polls open at 6:30am, and close at 7:30pm.