Absentee ballot information for the March 3 primary election

Press release from Buncombe County: 

This year’s primary election will take place on Tuesday, March 3. Primary Election Day is when voters select the political party nominees to appear on the ballot in the Nov. 3 general election. Starting on Jan. 13, absentee by-mail ballots will be sent out. Any registered voter in North Carolina may vote absentee by-mail. If you, or someone you know, will be unavailable to vote in person, there is information you need to know to ensure your vote is counted.

For active duty military, their family members, and U.S. citizens living abroad:

You will need to go to FVAP.gov or ncsbe.gov/voting-options/military-overseas-voting and follow the absentee ballot instructions to receive an absentee ballot. If you have questions about that process, you can call us at (828) 250-4222.

For all others wishing to receive an absentee ballot:

Anyone else wishing to request an absentee ballot may do so for any reason as long as they complete a 2020 North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request Form and return it one of the following ways:

  • Mail it to: P.O. Box 7468, Asheville, NC 28802.
  • Hand deliver it to our office at 77 McDowell St., Asheville, 28801.
  • Hand deliver to our satellite office in the Asheville Mall (at the McAlister’s entrance near Dillard’s).
  • Special Note: Military and overseas voters may email to absentee@ncsbe.gov or fax (919) 715-0351 a signed copy of this form.

Once your N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form has been received, an absentee ballot will be sent out. Absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and received by Friday, March 6, at 5 p.m. For more information about absentee voting visit the North Carolina Board of Elections website.

Near relative exceptions

A voter’s near relative may also request an absentee ballot at our office and it must be completed and returned by the aforementioned deadlines. The following qualify as a near relative: spouse, brother, sister, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, in-laws, stepparent, or stepchild.

Session Law 2019-239 made several changes to the absentee voting process. Changes include:

  • An absentee request form is now valid only if returned to the county board of elections by the voter, the voter’s near relative or legal guardian, or a Multi-partisan Assistance Team (MAT).
  • The absentee request form must be mailed or delivered in person to the voter’s county board of elections. Unlike past elections, request forms may not be emailed or faxed.
  • If a voter needs help completing the request form due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write, and a near relative or legal guardian is not available, the voter may get help from another person, who must list their name and address on the form.

About the Primary Election

All five recognized political parties in North Carolina – Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, and Republican – have primary ballots. Voters affiliated with a political party may only vote in their party’s primary. (For example, a voter registered as a Democrat may only vote the Democratic primary ballot.)

Unaffiliated voters may choose either the Democratic, Libertarian, Republican ballot, or a nonpartisan ballot, if available.

The one-stop, in-person early voting period for the March 3 primary begins Thursday, Feb. 13, and ends Saturday, Feb. 29.

For any additional information or questions contact us at (828) 250-4200.

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