Questions about voting in North Carolina? Our Down Home NC Field Director Vicente Cortez hosted a live Q&A session on Oct. 25 to answer questions about the upcoming municipal elections and how to vote. These questions include (click questions to watch video):
- Why are municipal elections important?
- How do you register to vote?
- Can you vote in North Carolina if you served time for a felony?
- Are you automatically registered to vote by the DMV in North Carolina?
- How do you vote by mail-in or absentee in North Carolina?
- How do I know if my mail-in vote was counted?
- How do I vote early in North Carolina?
- When are early votes counted?
- What types of identification or I.D. are acceptable when voting in North Carolina?
- Do I need an ID to mail-in or absentee vote in North Carolina?
- Does the address on my ID have to match my voter registration address in North Carolina?
- Do I need a voter registration card to vote in North Carolina?
- And more!!
The full video about voting in North Carolina is above. Below is the transcript of the live question and answer session.
Samantha Jackson: Hi. Well thank you, everyone. I’m very excited to have everyone here on this call and like I said, my name is Samantha Jackson, I’m the Deputy communication Director of North Carolina. We’re just going to talk today about voting and the upcoming municipal elections here in North Carolina. So we’re just really thrilled to have all of you here. If you do have questions, because I know some people are going to have some questions throughout the session, please just again state your name and just what chapter you’re with. And then I’m going to turn it over now to Vicente Cortez. So we’re very excited to have Vicente talk to everyone here. He’s our downtown North Carolina political director. He’ll be answering all of your burning questions about voting, so if everyone to just give a little clap for Vicente and then I’ll turn it over to him.
Vicente Cortez: Thanks y’all. Thanks for little claps. Alright. I appreciate y’all for joining the call today. I’m really excited to talk to y’all today about voting in North Carolina. Voting can be a little confusing if you don’t do it regularly and we have multiple different ways to vote in North Carolina and sometimes there’s a little confusion about which way is going to be the best way for you to actually cast your ballot. And we also do have some new voter ID laws in North Carolina that we want to make sure that everybody is aware of to make sure that when people go cast their ballots either this week during early vote period or next in two weeks on election day, that they’re able to cast their ballot without any problems. But before we get the q and a, I just want to do a quick intro on why municipal elections are important.
Why municipal elections are important
So it is 2023 and the way election cycles work in North Carolina is that we either have presidential or midterm elections on even years. And the majority of our municipalities, there are some exceptions, actually have city elections in odd number of years. So chances are if you live in a city or a town in North Carolina, you probably have an election coming up for mayor City council. And even some metro areas like Charlotte, they actually have school board elections this year as well. I want to talk to you all a little bit about why Minnesota elections are important. So I’m going to share my screen real quick and sorry, it’s Canva, it takes a second to get pulled up. There we go.
Alright, so just want to talk a little bit about the importance of voting in municipal elections. And y’all, I use AI to generate these images. I’ve never done it before, so you’ll probably see some weird looking faces here, but why city election? So just check for jargon. When you hear the word municipal election, it basically means a city election. So if you live in Burlington, that means you’re electing people who represent Burlington. If you live in Selma, you’re probably going to be voting for people who represent Selma. But what’s really important to know is that turnout for municipal elections is incredibly low. In 2021, which was the last municipal election we had in North Carolina, there were more than 30 elections that a single vote decided who was elected. This even happened in a down home county back in 2021 we used to have a chapter in Jackson County and we actually had a member who ran for Silva Town Council and her race tied and she lost that race on a coin flip.
And so while turnout for municipal and presidential elections in North Carolina usually is well above 60%, we’re lucky if we see a municipality reach even 10%. And so when people say my vote does not matter, it is critical in a municipal election because so few people actually know there’s a municipal election and there’s a lot less money that goes into these elections. So there’s just not much as much voter education. The things that are important to know is that the majority of races you’ll see on your ballot this year are mostly going to be for mayor and city council. And what’s really important about this is that these offices touch your life more frequently and much more directly in a lot of ways than you see actually from the general assembly or from Congress. And these elections that we’re going to be voting in for this year, these folks are people who really see the general day-to-Day operations of our municipalities.
So they really oversee police and fire department parks and rec and art spaces. They decide local taxes and determine the city budget every year to decide how your money is spent. And they also take care of water and sewage as well. And so these people have a very dramatic impact on the things that actually happen in your hometown. So it’s important that we’re taking time to get informed about who we’re voting for and get a better understanding about what’s on the ballot.
So I’m going to stop sharing screen now here and I will say we have a small amount of time together today, so I’m going to kind of do this section by section, but if you all have any questions that come up, please put them in the chat. We’ll do a little bit of q and a after each section. Donnie, I believe that you had a question to start us off, is that right?
How do you register to vote?
Donnie: Yes. I had a question. Could you walk us through the process of registering to vote?
Vicente Cortez: Yes. So let me pull up these slides once more. So y’all, in order for us to vote, we actually have to get registered to vote. So hopefully everybody on this call is registered to vote, but if you’re not, do not despair, we’ll walk through this very simply. So in order to register to vote in North Carolina things, there’s actually not that many requirements to become a registered voter. So first things first, you have to be a citizen of the United States and you have to be a current resident of North Carolina. You can register to vote online by mail in person at the local board of elections or when you get your driver’s license or at one stop early voting. We’ll take some time to talk about each of these processes here a little bit later on the call. What’s important to know is that universally in North Carolina, whether it’s a primary or a general election, the deadline to register to vote is 25 days before the election. However, if you have missed that deadline, you can also register to vote at one stop early voting and we’ll talk about that here in a second.
So some of the requirements that you need to have to actually register to vote is you have to be, like I said, a citizen of the United States and live in North Carolina. You have to live in the county in which you are registering and you have to have lived there for at least the past 30 days leading up to the election. So you have to live in your county for at least a month to be able to register to vote in that county, you have to be at least 18 years old on or before election day, meaning that if you are going to be 18 by the time election day happens, you can register as the 17 year old in a circumstance that your birthday is election day or the day before election day, you can go ahead and register as a 17 year old. So you’re eligible to vote on election day and you must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction including probation or post-release supervision.
This was current last year. There was a state Supreme Court ruling that kind of got rid of this requirement. However, the state Supreme Court did overturn that decision. But what’s important to note is that if you are somebody who has a felony and you have served your time and you’re no longer on probation, you can actually get your voting rights restored. So that’s really important to know and here are some of the very scary AI generated people. But I do want to note, because we do have a lot of universities in North Carolina, while you’re registering to vote how to register to vote as a student. So you can either register at your home address or in the college town in which you currently live. The board of Election recommends that if you plan to return to your hometown post-graduation that you stay registered at your parents’ address. And if you are not sure where you’ll go, then you should actually go ahead and register in your college town. So that is a little bit about how to register to vote. We’ll get into the different ways. One stop early voting, but want to stop here and see if anybody has any questions on that.
Can you vote in North Carolina if you served time for a felony?
Member: As long as you are off probation, you can still vote even if you are a felon.
Vicente Cortez: Yes. So I believe that there is a process that you actually have to go to get your voting rights back, but as long as you are off probation, you are eligible to vote.
Are you automatically registered to vote by the DMV in North Carolina?
Member: I have one. Is it automatic that if you are not registered the DMV registers you or are they simply required to offer you the option? This came up on turf today or yesterday.
Vicente Cortez: Yeah, so it’s not automatic and Mark, I cannot say if it is required for them to ask that question, but they typically always offer that when you register to get your driver’s license. I can follow up on that question mark and get back to you. Every time I’ve applied for a driver’s license that questions always been asked of me, but I am required to do it right. I believe they are required to ask whether you’re registered to vote in, if not, if you want to. What happened was that a person turned out to be registered and on our list and at their current address, but they didn’t know they were registered. They didn’t remember registering. So they weren’t sure if there was also another case where they had changed address but gotten a driver’s license with their new address since their current address was on our list, but they didn’t recall changing it with the board of elections. So that’s why the question.
Vicente Cortez: Yeah, I’ll get back to you on that one. I will say that a lot of people are registered and actually don’t know it, particularly college students. A lot of folks actually table at student centers on campus and a lot of folks get registered and actually don’t even know that they are registered. But Mark, let me follow up and get you to answer that question. Okay?
Member: Thank you. So are people going to need a physical identification or driver’s license when they show up?
Vicente Cortez: Yes. We’ll actually talk about voter ID here in just a few minutes, but the quick answer to your question is now in North Carolina you will have to have voter ID to register to vote. Vote. Alright, next question I think is coming from Mark on absentee ballots. Is that correct?
Member: I didn’t have a question on absentee ballots. Maybe somebody else did.
How do you vote by mail-in or absentee in North Carolina?
Vicente Cortez: Okay, well I’m going to go ahead and actually explain it anyway because it’s really important. Alright, so the next thing I want to talk to you all about is mail-in voting and just doing another jargon check. When you hear the words mail-in voting or absentee voting in North Carolina, it virtually means the same thing. So melon voting is a really accessible way to actually cast your ballot. This got very popular during the COVID 19 pandemic, but what’s important to know in North Carolina is that you do not need an excuse to request a mail-in ballot in a lot of other states. If you lived elsewhere, you may have to actually prove that you’re not going to be in the state or in your municipality to vote here in North Carolina. If you want to vote by mail, you do not need to provide an excuse to the local Board of Elections office to actually get your mail-in ballot.
This is a really good way to vote if you are not able bodied, if you’re going to be out of town, if you just want to go ahead and get your vote in or if you’re still taking precautions, if you’re immunocompromised, it’s a really great way to actually cast your ballot. But there’s some really important things that you should know. So if you want to request a mail-in ballot, you can either do it online or at that website that you see here on your screen. It’s the State Board of Elections website or you can actually go to this website and print off an application and send it in the mail to your local board of elections and they’ll actually mail you your ballot.
I want to talk a little bit about how to vote by mail because it’s an accessible way, but there are quite a few steps to actually make sure your ballot gets counted if you vote by mail. So here’s a step-by-step guide of how to actually vote by mail. So first of all, you should mark your ballot, go ahead and vote, fill in those bubbles, make sure there’s not an X, but they’re fully bubbled in the way mail-in balloting works is that when you get your ballot, they’ll actually send you a manila envelope and you’ll actually have to put your ballot in the envelope provided to you and you’ll have to seal that envelope. What’s really important is that in order to vote by mail, you either have to have two witnesses over the age of 18 signed your envelope and you have to cast your ballot in front of those two specific people and they will have to write their name, their addresses, or if you don’t have two witnesses to see you actually cast in your ballot.
You can have a notary actually sign your envelope as well. You will have to cast your ballot in front of that notary though they have to see you do it due to the new voter ID law, you do actually still have to provide voter ID in your mail-in ballot, and so you will be required to provide a photocopy of your id. You can either do this at your public library or you can use a printer at home if for any reason that you’re not able to provide a photocopy of your id, there is an exemption box on the new mail-in ballots that will allow you to actually cast your ballot with the id, but you will actually have to return to the Board of Elections Office later on before election day to provide your ID to make sure your ballot is cast.
What’s really important is that you return it so you can either mail it back, the postage is Pedro, you can turn it into an early voting location anywhere in your county or you can return it to the Board of Elections Office itself. What’s important to note about Mail-in balloting is that even you can return it at a one-stop early voting site, you cannot return it on election day at your election day polling location and your ballot must be returned or have been postmarked by 5:00 PM on election day and it needs to be received by the Board of Elections no later than 5:00 PM three days after the election. So if you are voting by mail, you technically can put it in the mail on election day and make sure it’s posted by 5:00 PM. However, I would not recommend that we all know that the postal service doesn’t have all the funds it needs and sometimes mail takes a while even if it’s just in the county. So we recommend that if you’re voting by mail, go ahead request your ballot and get that sucker back to the board elections as quickly as possible. I’m going to stop here and see what questions folks have about voting by mail or absentee voting.
How do I know if my vote was counted?
Alexis: I was just going to ask, is there a way for a person to know that their vote was counted if they mail it in? Is there?
Vicente Cortez: Yes. So if you go onto the state board of Lexington’s website, there is a tool to actually track where your mail-in ballot is at either when it’s coming to you or when it is going to the, well actually it only if it’s coming to you, you’ll be able to track where your ballot’s at unfortunately. So I don’t want to give you wrong information, Shannon, I do believe that you can actually check to see if it’s been received on the State Board of Elections website if it’s received before election day. If you cast it and it’s not received before election day, you may not know if your ballot is counted until that county canvas is completed. But lemme get back to you on that. I’m pretty sure with that tracking tool on the State Board of Elections website, as long as you get it in time, you can track to see if it was received. Donnie, you got a question
Member: From the two witnesses, is over 18 the only requirement or is it specifics about who’s in your household? I mean, last time I voted I’d done a mail-in ballot and it was like two people in my household. I just didn’t know if that had changed.
Vicente Cortez: Nope, it does not have the people who live in your household as long as they are over 18 and they can provide their name and their address, that’s the only thing that you need.
Member: So since we all know that completing the absentee ballot is crucial, Vicente, are there any more tips or things folks should know or keep in mind when filling it out?
Vicente Cortez: Yeah, so what’s important is always make sure you fill in your bubbles correctly. And with medals and balloting there is such a specific way that you have to put it together. You have to make sure you have that ballot, you put it in the envelope. It sometimes may come with an affidavit that you have to sign, but you put that together, you have to make sure that those two witnesses signed it in legible ways in which the Board of Election can read it in case there’s any reason why your ballots in question or you get a notarized. It’s very important that you do not ask them to sign it after you cast your ballot that witnesses, because they have to witness you actually mark your ballot. And just super important y’all, make sure you get your mail-in ballots in the mail or return to the Board of Elections office as early as possible. If you wait until election day, it may be hard to get a postmark by 5:00 PM and just with snail mail there’s probably a good chance that it could take longer than three days for the Board of Elections to receive your ballot.
All right, perfect. Before we move on to the next section, any folks have any questions about registration, registration or absentee voting? Okay,
Member: I think when I got poll judge training just recently, they told us you could phone the Board of Elections to check on the status of your mail-in ballot. Also, this applies to provisionals.
Vicente Cortez: Yes, that is right. And y’all, if you have any other questions, call your local board of elections office, it’s usually a small team of folks who work there. They’re super knowledgeable and all they love when people call them. I stay in contact with a lot of folks at the Board of Elections just because I work in elections. Anytime I have a question, I just give them a call. And universally, regardless of county, they’re super well-informed and they get really excited to talk about Minnesota elections. So call your local board of elections and see what’s up. Alright, let’s see. I think we have a question about early voting.
How do I vote early in North Carolina?
Member: Well, we don’t have a prepared question, but I do have a question. How do we know where to go for an early vote?
Vicente Cortez: Okay, yeah. So let me pull this up and that was not here. Hi Nancy. It’s good to see you. So early voting is next. So here we go. So want to talk to y’all about one-stop early voting, which is one of the most popular ways to actually cast your ballot. So say hi to the AI generated folks. This is another piece of jargon. Sometimes you’ll hear the word early vote and sometimes you’ll hear early in person one-stop early voting. These are all basically the same thing. But what one-stop early voting is is basically it’s the two weeks leading up to election day. So this year it is between October 19th and November 4th. Early vote days do vary county by county, you can go to the board of Lexington’s website, which I’m about to show y’all here in a second, to understand where your polling early vote location is and what the hours are because they do vary county to county.
It’s important to note that not every county has early voting during municipal elections. In general elections and presidential elections, all counties have early voting and municipal elections, particularly if it’s a rural county like Ash or Mitchell, they don’t do early voting. But what’s important about early voting is that during the early voting period, voters may cast a ballot at an early voting site in their county, anywhere in their county. So it does not matter where you go as long as it’s in your county, you can cast your ballot there. Big distinction though is that this is different from election day. On election day you actually have to register, you actually have to vote at your designated polling location on election day and during the early vote period, eligible voters may also register to vote and vote at the same time even if the registration deadline has passed.
So that’s the reason why it is called one stop. In one stop you can register to vote and cast your ballot all at one time. And so this is where people will get confused. The voter registration deadline for this year was October 13th. So if you did not register by October 13th, you cannot vote on election day. However, if you miss that deadline, you can go to any one-stop polling location between October 19th and November 4th and you can cast your ballot early. And if you’re not registered by the deadline, the only way you can cast your ballot is one-stop early voting.
So that is a little confusing. I have one more slide on this and then I’ll stop for questions real quick. The reason why you should early vote or why it’s good is we encourage everybody here at Down Home to vote early. It just gives people a lot more flexibility. It gets folks, especially working class folks, much more opportunity to actually go cast their ballot. If you go on election day, you basically have about a 13 period window to get out of your house, wait in line and cast your ballot. And if you have to work on a Tuesday, you may actually miss your opportunity to go cast your ballot. But also if you all have ever early voted, you’ll probably notice that virtually there are very few lines, if any at all. I just cast my ballot here in Durham on Monday and I walked straight in and cast my ballot and there was no line.
If you showed up on election day, you may actually find there may be significant wait times. And also an important thing is anything can actually happen on election day. Your kids may get sick, you may get a flat tire, you may forget there might be a tornado. And so if you do not cast your ballot early, you can still vote on election day. But we recommend that you go ahead and go ahead and get your vote in early because you’ll know you’ll have that peace in mind that your ballot is cast and it’s going to be counted. And where you can find your polling location. Once again, I’m going to direct you all to the North Carolina Board of Elections website. So if you want to find your early vote sites, you’ll go to this website right here, which is vt.nsbe.gov/os site. And if you want to find your election day polling site, it’s the same address but it’s this P-P-L-K-U-P, which stands for polling place lookup. So I just want to be clear. During early votes you can go to any polling location that is open and cast your ballot. For example, we are doing some work in Alamance County right now, folks who live in Burlington, they can go to Graham and actually cast their ballots and folks who live in Oxford can actually go cast their ballots and create more on election day. You have to go to your specific polling location to cast your ballot however. So Jasmine, I saw that you had your hand up a few different times. What’s that?
Jasmine: Oh gee, I thought I got away smoothly. I didn’t think you saw that. You did talk about it a little bit, but I just know a lot of people like to vote on election day. It makes them feel patriotic and they’re doing their civic duty. So because you just talk a little bit about how you find your designated polling place. I know you had the website there, but could you show people what it looks like?
Vicente Cortez: Yes, absolutely. Give me one second. Lemme get this pulled up. And so for the polling location and see, let me get this pulled up and I’ll do a quick screen share. All right, let’s see. So I’m going to go to these websites and I’ll show you in both areas how you can actually look up your polling site. Give me one second. And also y’all, what’s important is like I said, if you are not tech savvy and you’re not comfortable using the internet, I’m sure you are a phone call your board of elections office and they can help you out. So this is what it looks like for one stop voting sites. So for Registration county, I am, let’s say if we live in Alamance, so there’s only one pulling location in Alamance, but you can see that it is the Graham library. It gives you the address and it gives you the specific times for today. To give you a better example, let’s go to Guilford. I’m sure that they have more than one polling site and you can see here that some of these polling locations are closed. But this one, the Guilford County Board of Elections office is open and if you click on it, you can actually see the hours of operation for each day of early voting. Donna, you got a question?
Donna: Yeah, correct me if I’m wrong, but due to some changes in the law isn’t early voting this time around a shorter period than it would’ve been in past elections?
Vicente Cortez: So they continually, I’m going to mute you. There we go. They continually change the early vote days. So I’m not sure if there was a specific date. However, I know during municipal elections they’re usually a significantly shorter window of early voting. There were some things that happened a few years ago that they actually took away some Sunday voting. But Donnie, let me look up and see if there is a bill that was passed in General Assembly that restricted early vote period. And y’all, I am not going to show you the election day polling location because it would require me to put in my address and I just don’t want to do that in front of you all. So we have one more section before we start wrapping up. But before I move on early voting, it can be confusing folks. What else do we, what other questions do we have?
Member: So just to be clear, you can’t register to vote anymore even for 2024. You got to do the one stop or early voting.
Vicente Cortez: So the voter registration deadline is for the upcoming election. So to register to vote, to register to vote, you have to do it 25 days before the upcoming election. So if you wanted to register to vote for the municipals on November 7th, you have to do so by October 13th. The next election we’ll have is a statewide primary, which is March 3rd or seventh I believe. So in order to be eligible to vote in that election, you have to register 25 days before that, which is sometime in February.
Mark: Primary is March 5th.
Vicente Cortez: March 5th. Thank you Mark. So 25 days before March 5th if you want to vote in the March election.
When are early votes counted?
Member: If we vote early, when are those votes counted?
Vicente Cortez: So they are not counted until after polls close. So no votes are actually counted until polls close at seven 30. So if you are watching election night results and there’s a very good chance that those early votes are actually the first ones counted. So when you vote early, your ballot is not actually looked at until polls close at seven 30. But those votes are counted typically first. So on election night when you’re waiting for reporting to come in, you’ll usually see about 30 to 45 minutes after polls close, a ton of votes come in and then it’s like two hours before the next come in. And that’s because they typically count those early votes first, but your ballot is actually not touched until polls close at 7:30 on election night.
Member: Thank you.
Vicente Cortez: No problem. Alrighty, perfect. So coming up, I think we had a question on voter ID, is that right?
What types of identification or I.D. are acceptable to vote in North Carolina?
Member: Yeah, that’s correct. So obviously there’s been some confusion about the ID requirements. Can you clarify what types of ID are acceptable when voting?
Vicente Cortez: Yes. So this is a brand new law in North Carolina. It was actually this bill that was defeated by the state Supreme Court about two years ago, but it was actually overturned by our state Supreme Court earlier in the year. So now we do have voter ID in North Carolina and I want to thank the folks at Democracy and see for this beautiful image there are a lot of different IDs that you can use to actually cast your ballot. And so just going through this, I’m not going to actually read these off because that would take a long time. I will send you all these slides after the fact. But what’s important to note is that most IDs, things that folks already have, like driver’s license, passports, military or veteran ID cards, those are all accepted. What’s important to note is that if you’re a college student or a university student, you may be able to use your student ID to actually cast your ballot. It depends upon if your university actually applied to have the ID account towards voter id. I know App State did in Watauga County and I believe Elon University Alamance did. So if you’re a student, any of those universities, you can cast your ballot using those IDs.
But if you are somebody who is without an id, it’s important to know that when this bill passed they did allocate some funds to local Board of Elections offices. So if you do need an id, you can go to your local county Board of Elections office and they’ll actually print you ID specifically for voting there on site. So some things that y’all should know about the new voter ID law is I’m just going to read this verbatim because it can be a little confusing. So a voter 65 or older may use an expired or acceptable ID if the ID was on expired on their 65th birthday. So it’s good for life. So as long as your ID was unexpired by the time you turn 65, you can continue to use your expired id.
What is important to note is that the address on your ID does not matter. The law is to make sure you are who you say you are. It is not to prove where you live, but it’s important that you are registered where you live. So if your ID does not match your voter registration, that should not matter. And if you run into any problems, we’ll give you some information on a voter information hotline. I will say that, like I said, board of elections workers, they are volunteers and they are, this is going to be the first time they’re using voter ID as well. So don’t be surprised if some people working at poll locations are brand new to this. But let’s make sure that y’all get the voter ID hotline just in case. And also I want to restate mail-in ballots. You must make sure that you send a photocopy of your ID when you cast your mail-in ballot in your envelope. There is an affidavit noting lack of access to a method to attach a physical copy of the identification card. And we are still waiting for some additional rules to clarify how this works. I’d check the local board of elections website. We should have some rules on how that affidavit should actually work and I’ll be sure to send that in a follow up email. But that is the new voter ID laws. What questions do y’all have about voter ID?
Do I need an ID to mail-in or absentee vote in North Carolina?
Member: This is a question that I’ve heard before and again, you may have answered it already, but how does the voter ID work with a mail-in?
Vicente Cortez: Yeah, you actually have to have a photocopy of it.
Member: With your ballot. Send it in with your ballot?
Vicente Cortez: You put it the same envelope. That makes sense. Austin, you’re on stack.
Does the address on my ID have to match my voter registration address in North Carolina?
Austin: Does the, sorry if you answered this already, but does the address on the ID have to match the address for your voter registration?
Vicente Cortez: No,
Austin: But just in North Carolina.
Vicente Cortez: Just in…
Austin: Or in your county or…
Vicente Cortez: Let me see you. So it has to be a driver’s license, it has to be a state driver’s license. However, it does not have to match your voter registration. So it is important that you are registered to vote where you live. However, the voter ID rule is not to verify where you live. It’s just to verify you are who you say you are.
Austin: Okay, so if I live in Johnston County and my driver’s license is there and then I move to Watauga County and I re-register in Watauga, but I still have my Johnston County driver’s license, that’s a valid voter id.
Vicente Cortez: Yes.
Austin: Killer. Thank you.
Vicente Cortez: Got a question, Nancy?
Do I need a voter registration card to vote in North Carolina?
Nancy: Yeah. Okay, so when we register to vote, we get that voter registration card. Do we need that?
Vicente Cortez: You do not. So everybody should receive a voter registration card after you register to vote. You should get in the mail probably a week or two after you register to vote. I recommend that you keep that. However, it has to be a photo ID so that the election worker should be able to look at your ID and then look at you and confirm that you are who you say you are. So in order to cast your ballot, all you need is a acceptable photo id
Nancy: Thank you.
Vicente Cortez: No problem. Okay, I have one more slide before we wrap up. Any other questions?
More questions about voting in North Carolina
Member: Can college students use school IDs to vote in NC?
Vicente Cortez: Only if the college has applied to the State Board of Elections to have their IDs count. So you can go onto the Board of Elections website and actually see which universities have actually applied for that in down home counties. I do know that App State and Elon have both done, so…
Member: That’s tedious….
Vicente Cortez: So these laws are confusing. So just right before we get off, I do want to remind you all of some important dates. So like I said, the voter registration deadline has already passed. That was October 13th. You have until October 31st to actually request your mail-in ballot. Your mail-in ballot has to be received, that is wrong. It should be three days after the election. Wait, November 7th it should be three days. So it should be November 10th by 5:00 PM So I’ll make sure I correct that before I send it out to y’all. The early voting period is happening right now. It’s October 19th, free November 4th. And so you basically, if you want to go out and cast your ballot today, it’s very likely that there’s a polling location open right now where you can go ahead and cast your ballot. If you haven’t, please go ahead and do so.
And what’s important is that keep in mind most but not all counties have early voting this year. And I didn’t put it on here, but the election takes place on November 7th, so polls are open from six 30 to 7:30 PM 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM. As long as you are in line by the time polls close, you are able to cast your ballot. And as always, please follow us on social media, on Facebook, Instagram, and x from only known as Twitter. We’re a little bit over time. So I want to say thank y’all for coming out today to get some information about voting. I’m going to be on for the next few minutes to answer any of the questions folks have. So if you have questions, please throw ’em at me. And if not, I am going to drop our website down below. If you are not a member of down home yet, please check us out. I’m going to drop our information here and y’all my email if you are interested in learning more about down home, we have a few of our organizers on the call right now, but chances are there’s probably an organizer near you. Would love to have a conversation with you. So that’s my email and that’s our website. So feel free to check us out and I’ll hang back to see if any of you folks have any questions. Now
Mark: One comment regarding if you show up at the polling location and you are shown as at the wrong precinct, you actually have two options. One is to go to the correct precinct, which they can tell you about. If you don’t have time or transportation or there’s some other reason that you can’t go to your correct location, you can cast a provisional at the wrong one.
Vicente Cortez: That is really important Mark, and I’ll be sure to add that to this presentation. That’s something I did not add, but what Mark said is exactly right. So you can cast a provisional ballot if you somehow show up at your wrong polling locations. That’s important to know, especially if you show up late in the day. And that’s the reason why we encourage early vote is because we recommend that if you can cast your actual ballot, that’s the best way. Provisionals oftentimes do get scrutinized more heavily than regular ballots. But even if you cast provisional, make sure you go ahead and vote. I have Austin and then Sam\.
Austin: Just a question about the mail-in deadline, I thought with the new laws, the deadline to receive was on election day. Is that not true?
Vicente Cortez: So I looked it up on the Board of Elections website and it still says by three days. So that’s what I went by.
Austin: Do you know it is going to change for next year?
Vicente Cortez: I’ll have to look that up. I’m going to send a follow up email because Austin, when I put that in there, it was on the board, it was on the website and I was like,
Austin: Yeah, right. I feel
Vicente Cortez: Like I heard otherwise.
Austin: I know, me too. I remember seeing that and having a reaction to it.
Vicente Cortez: Yeah. Yeah. So I’m going to double check and that’s the reason why it was mistaken on my slideshow is because what I thought was accurate until I read it, Sam,
Member: No question. Just want to always elevate. I don’t know if anyone would have any problems on this call, but definitely be nice to your poll workers anytime you go up to vote. They got to deal with a whole bunch of different types of personalities. I’ve been a poll worker, election worker before and just be extra nice to them. And that’s all I want to say because they are doing the Lord’s work. No question.
Vicente Cortez: Yes, yes. God bless Poll workers. And y’all, I got a few questions on this call. I’ve written them down. I will follow up And just to double check to make sure I’m not giving you all bad information, I’m going to double check on Austin’s question to make sure that it actually still is three days. So we have your email. So just be on the lookout for an email for me to answer some of the questions that we had on, I think it was felonies on mail-in balloting and on early vote law. We have changed. So alright y’all, any other questions?
Samantha: All? I just wanted to also say thank you to everyone for attending, so thanks.
Vicente Cortez: Perfect. Thank you Samantha.
Member: Thank you Vicente, for a wonderful presentation. I learned a whole lot.
Vicente Cortez: Good. It’s always good to have a refresher. So I, all right, see y’all soon. And if I’ve never met you before, it’s nice to meet you.