Because of questions about the safety of absentee ballots, it’s important to know the N.C. State Board of Elections has instituted protections to keep your vote secure. One of those protections is making sure each vote only counts once by election officials checking off the ballot in the voting system when it is accepted, whether that ballot is in person or absentee. Although all voters can request absentee ballots, they can choose to ignore the mailed ballot and vote in person instead; however, they cannot cast their vote with both methods. Only one vote is accepted for each person.
Verification of absentee ballots is assured in several ways. Identification information such as name, address and driver’s license or Social Security numbers is confirmed before the ballot is sent to the voter. The voter must fill the ballot out in the presence of a witness, and both the voter and the witness sign the envelope, confirming that the vote was properly executed.
Only the mail service, the voter or a close relative of the voter can return the sealed ballot to the county board of elections. Verification of the ballot at the board involves checking that the envelope has the correct information in the proper places and the envelope is sealed.
Here is where voting early is important. If the ballot is rejected for any reason, the board must send a letter telling the voter the problem and how to correct it. They also will send a new ballot to be completed. If time is short, they may call and tell the voter to vote in person. Voters can see if their absentee ballots were accepted by keying in NC Voter Search online.
Much effort has been put into making sure our elections are fair and secure. Please vote.
— Adrienne Hollifield