While in-person voting feels powerful and getting that red, white, and blue “I Voted” sticker brings pride and honor, it’s important, considering the COVID-19 pandemic, to have a Plan B to make your voice heard on November 3. Plan B is absentee voting!
Any voter in Mecklenburg County can request an absentee ballot from the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections prior to the last Tuesday before an election. The deadline this year is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27. To request your absentee ballot, go to: mecknc.gov/BOE/Pages/default.aspx
Complete the form, following the instructions listed on it, and use one of the following ways to return it:
- Fax or email a scanned copy of your completed request form to the Board of Elections (this is a new option!)
- Mail or take the form in person to the Board of Elections office
If you’re a Mecklenburg County voter, here’s all the information you need to get your completed request form to the Board of Elections:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax: (704) 319-9722
- Mail: Mecklenburg Board of Elections, P.O. Box 31788, Charlotte, NC 28231-1788
- In Person: 741 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 202, Charlotte, NC 28204 (for office hours, visit meckboe.org)
If you’re a voter in any other North Carolina county, see the last page of the request form for your county’s Board of Elections contact information.
- Remember to sign and date the form
- The absentee ballot request form can be completed and returned to the Board of Elections only by the following: The voter, the voter’s verifiable legal guardian, or the voter’s near relative, as defined on the form
- For voters who are blind, disabled, or unable to read or write, or voters who are patients in any hospital, clinic, nursing home or rest home, please read and follow the instructions on the form as to how assistance may be provided
Ballots will be mailed out starting September 4. Requesting an absentee ballot does not obligate you to vote by mail. If you change your mind, just throw away the mail-in ballot and vote in person instead.
Absentee ballots will now have a barcode on them so voters can track their receipt back to the Board of Elections office and see whether it’s been accepted or not! This is an important new feature because, in the past, folks never knew if their vote counted when using vote-by-mail.
The new feature not only tracks if your vote was counted, but also if there are issues with your ballot, like signing in the wrong place, so that you can fix it.
North Carolina officials are working diligently to give all citizens the opportunity to vote. If you have any concerns about going to the polls, make sure you have Plan B in place now, and make a point to request an absentee ballot by the deadline.