Absentee ballots now available for November election

Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Friday was the first day absentee ballots for the November election were available. And with more scrutiny around the election process, WITN wanted to share more about what is done to protect votes.

WITN talked to board of election directors in Beaufort and Pitt Counties. They explained how their process works.

One-by-one, workers at the Pitt County Board of Elections spent Friday morning processing 667 absentee ballots - a number director Dave Davis says is pretty typical.

“Really, for us, as far as registration-wise we’re not that far off from what we were this same point in each even numbered year,” he explained.

It’s a far cry from the 2020 number of 7,400 absentee ballots, which Davis says was exacerbated by the pandemic. Totals look a bit different over in Beaufort County.

“Today we will send out 170 absentee ballots,” Beaufort County Director of Elections Kellie Hopkins said. She said their focus is always on protecting the integrity of the process.

“There are quite a few security measures that we have in place to make sure that someone’s ballot is securely voted through the mail.”

That includes the fact that only the voter, a voter’s near relative, or someone assisting a voter with a disability, can deliver someone’s absentee ballot application in-person. They can also be mailed in. Then once a ballot is filled out and sent in, they are carefully verified.

“That’s multiple eyes that are looking at the absentees, because the civilian ballot, two witnesses have to sign and provide their address as well as the voter. So, as it comes into the office through the mail, we’re looking to make sure it has the voter signature, the witness signature, the addresses, before it’s even presented to the board,” explained Davis.

Board of election officials say they are happy to share these steps with any voter who wants more confidence about the process.

You can request an absentee ballot until November 1. That’s the Tuesday before election day. Election day is November 8.

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