Election officials check voting machines; Pitt Co. absentee numbers higher than ever

Election officials check voting machines, Pitt Co. absentee numbers higher than ever
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 8:33 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - We’re almost a month away from Election Day, and counties in the East are checking voting machines to get ready.

In Beaufort County, Elections Director Kellie Hopkins says they’ve been doing what’s called logic and accuracy testing on voting machines since Friday. They do it for every single voting machine, one for each precinct, so about 30 of them.

Those ballots are pre-counted and then put through the tabulators. After that, the results are checked for accuracy. Hopkins said those are all regulations required by the state.

So far, 333 people have requested absentee ballots in Beaufort County; 43 of those have been returned already.

“I would think 43 for a county the size of Beaufort, that’s a good number to have five weeks out from the election, so this is our first absentee meeting tomorrow, and usually we have very few on our first board meeting,” Hopkins said.

Those meetings are where the ballots that have been filled out are presented to a bipartisan board that then approves them. That process will start Tuesday night at 5 p.m.

Hopkins added that the number of votes is typically much lower in elections that do not involve a presidential candidate, but she encourages people to stay involved in all election cycles.

“We get a lot of turnout for presidentials, but we need turnout for school board races. We need turnout for the sheriff because these are the people that work closest to us and are making decisions like where our kids go to school or our safety or our tax rate,” Hopkins said.

In Pitt County, the population is obviously much larger. They’ve had 1,258 ballots requested so far. That’s more than ever before in the county’s history, according to Elections Director Dave Davis.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is November 1, one week before Election Day. The last day to register if you want to vote on election day is Oct. 14. If you miss that, you’ll have to do same-day registration by going to a one-stop location.

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