Pitt County elections officials planning to send out 7,300 mail-in ballots

Elections director Dave Davis says they sent about 400 absentee ballots for the 2016 election.
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 8:36 AM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Pitt County elections officials will send out absentee ballots on Friday.

In fact, that is the first day absentee ballots will be sent out throughout the state. Due to the increase in requests for mail-in/absentee voting, Pitt County Board of Elections Director Dave Davis explained how the process works.

“We’re getting the question of okay, I requested an absentee ballot but what if I change my mind and decide to go vote in person, can I do that,” Davis said. “Yes you can. As long as you haven’t mailed that absentee ballot back to us, that’s fine. We just ask that you destroy it.”

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump spoke with WECT in Wilmington about North Carolinians voting. In that interview, he appeared to suggest the idea of voting twice.

“They will vote and then they are going to have to check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way because if it tabulates then they won’t be able to do that. So, let them send it in and let them go vote,” Trump told the NBC station.

President Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed this and reportedly said the president doesn’t condone illegal voting. Trump took to social media after that interview in Wilmington to claim voters should go to the polling place in person to verify their mail-in ballots have been counted.

Davis was clear -- saying voting twice is a felony. He says if you try and vote twice, elections officials will find out.

“When your ballot is returned, and we look in the system to enter that in that the ballot is returned, we’re going to see that you already voted,” Davis said. “We’re also going to contact the state board and the investigative team will be contacting that voter and possibly the DA as far as prosecution for trying to vote twice, which is a felony.”

North Carolina Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell released a statement Thursday. Part of that statement says,

Some viewers have reached out to WITN confused about what is official elections business and what is a scam. This is primarily due to an increase in mass mailings. Davis says if you are ever confused about what is legitimate and what is not, you can contact their office. Some mailings will have return envelopes for absentee ballot requests, but Davis says even if it is legitimate business, it might be best to just deal with his office directly.

“If it’s going anywhere else (other than their office), I wouldn’t do it,” Davis said. “Who knows where it’s going, how it’s going to be used, and even if they are legitimate, why send it somewhere else for them to turn around and send it back to us?”

If you’re a Pitt County resident and have questions about mailings or material related to voting, call the Pitt County Board of Elections at 252-902-3300.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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