It’s time to do your duty. Time to get out and vote. Or, if it suits you better and seems safer during a pandemic, stay in and vote.
Just vote. Did we mention that it’s your duty, as a citizen?
But, you say, it’s not Election Day yet! And that’s true. But you don’t have to wait until Nov. 3. And considering that we’re all expecting a huge turnout in this election, and we’re also still trying to practice social distancing, you might want to consider voting ahead of time, or by mail.
In fact, as of Monday of this week, 1.3 million North Carolinians had requested absentee ballots, and almost half a million of those votes had already been cast.
You can find out anything you need to know about voting in the manner of your choosing — including seeing a sample ballot for your very precinct — by going to the North Carolina State Board of Elections website. There, you can learn all about the three main ways of voting:
- Vote in Person on Election Day: This is the standard, old-school way, and it may be the way you choose to go. Election Day is Nov. 3. The first thing you do (that is, after having perused your sample ballot to prepare) is go to Trillium Springs Montessori School at 9213 Beatties Ford Rd. That’s our polling place. It opens at 6:30 a.m., and anyone in line when it closes as 7:30 p.m. will still get to vote. The official Board of Elections website offers this advice: “The busiest times tend to be early in the morning and just before the polls close. Avoid longer lines by voting at off-peak times.” If you want to know how election officials are guarding against COVID transmission, read this. Do you have to wear a mask to vote? No. But of course, you should. No photo ID is required for this election.
- Vote by Mail: Also known, of course, as “absentee voting.” Any voter can do this — no special circumstances or reasons are required. Don’t delay if you want to vote this way. This has already been under way for weeks, and your very last day for requesting an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 27 — at 5 p.m., to be exact. You can also drop off your ballot in person instead of mailing, but not on Election Day itself. When will your absentee ballot be counted? As soon as it is received, although results won’t be tabulated or reported until Election Day. Learn more about this process here.
- Vote Early in Person: This process actually starts on Oct. 15. But also note that it ends on Oct. 31, so you can’t wait until the very last minute. Voters choosing this method may cast a ballot at any early voting site in their county — unlike on Election Day, when you must vote at your assigned precinct. Go here to find out where the early-voting sites are located.
Of course, to vote in any of these ways, you have to be registered, and regular registration is already over. But good news: If you choose to vote early in person, between Oct. 15 and Oct. 31, you can register and vote, all in one stop.
You can’t beat that. So no excuses: Vote!