by Kathleen Mundle
How do you plan to cast your vote in the upcoming federal, state, and local elections…
Mail? Email? Fax? In person?
The procedures and options for in-person and absentee voting in Mecklenburg County were outlined August 30 by Rep. Beverly Earle, one of five members of the county’s Board of Elections, and Kristin Mavromatis, the board’s public information officer, during a virtual meeting sponsored by the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s Social Justice Committee.
An updated summary of information presented at the meeting follows, including answers to questions raised by meeting attendees.
But first, and perhaps most important, the deadline for registering to vote in the November 3 elections is October 9.
You must register to vote every time you move, even if it’s to a nearby location.
And if you haven’t voted in two federal elections and have ignored four letters from the Board of Elections, and then didn’t vote in two more federal elections, you will be dropped from the list of registered voters. Federal elections are held every two years.
Voting By Absentee Ballot:
Mecklenburg County Board of Elections officials anticipated that they would receive in excess of 80,000 requests for absentee ballots, and they were correct: Over 90,000 requests had been filed by September 4, the first day of mailing absentee ballots to those who request them.
Voters have until 5:00 pm Oct. 27 to request an absentee ballot, but are encouraged to submit their requests well before then. Those who vote by mail would be wise to mail their return ballots by October 15 to make sure there is enough time to correct their ballot if a correction is needed.
Voters can hand deliver, email, text, or fax requests for absentee ballots, and should make sure the form they receive says 2020 on it.
Ballots may be returned by mail or commercial carrier (FedEx, UPS, or DHL), or dropped off at an early voting site. Voters also may hand deliver their ballots to the county Board of Elections office, but they must be received by 5:00 pm on Election Day.
Voters will be required to sign paperwork when dropping off a ballot, and may have to wait in line at early voting sites. Officials are hoping to arrange separate lines for people dropping off ballots.
A valid absentee ballot must include the voter’s signature and the signature of one witness. Anyone 18 and over can be a witness, including a spouse. The voter’s SSA number, and exact name and birthdate will be used to determine if he or she is registered to vote.
Absentee ballots do not need to be notarized, but mailed and hand delivered ballots must be returned in the envelope provided to voters when they received their ballot form.
A new state policy provides that if there is a problem with an absentee ballot — a missing signature, for example — election officials will have one business day to let the voter know about the problem and how to correct it. Be sure to provide your phone number or email address on your ballot request form.
A new portal on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website will allow voters to request an absentee ballot, correct ballots that have issues, and track their ballots.
Because of the large number of expected absentee ballots, beginning September 29, once they are received, ballots will be opened, tabulated, sealed, and locked up until the results are announced on Election Day.
Voting in Person:
There will be no same-day voter registration on Election Day.
The county will have 33 early voting sites, including 17 schools and three large venues with plenty of room for personal spacing — the Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Center, and Bojangles Arena.
All precinct polling sites will be open on Election Day.
Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 15, and ends Saturday, Oct. 31. Polls will be open on Saturdays from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm, and on two Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
If you have an absentee ballot and decide instead to vote in person, destroy the absentee ballot. Do not bring it with you to the polling place. If you happen to have it with you, vote in person and destroy the ballot when you get home.
For sanitary reasons, in-person voters will receive pens sealed in plastic rather than the usual “I Voted” stickers. Mail-in voters will still receive stickers.
The balloting equipment doesn’t like hand sanitizer, so don’t use it while you are standing in line to vote!
As of Aug. 29 the county had over 1,100 election volunteers, with a goal of adding another 1,000 people just to accept absentee ballots. Young volunteers are especially needed.
The information above can be found in greater depth and detail, and your questions answered, using the resources below:
- Questions about voting can be addressed to Kristin Mavromatis at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Or go the Mecklenburg County Election Board website at by clicking here for answers to your questions, including how to request an absentee ballot.
- To check the status of your voter registration, you can email email@example.com, or go to NC Board of Elections Voter Lookup.
- You can fax your completed absentee ballot form to 704-319-9722 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t wish to drop it off in person.
- For general information on the statewide election process, go to
For information on the candidates, visit VOTE411.org and then click Find What’s On My Ballot to the right:. Enter and submit your address. On the following screen select the appropriate language and then select Go To My Races. You can navigate into each one of the races and get more information on the candidates.
Kathleen Mundle worked in legal and news publishing in Washington, DC until moving to Charlotte in 2005.