written by Susan Randolph
The late Rep. John Lewis fought for the right of all citizens, especially minorities, to vote. He stated, “The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.”
Voting is a right of every citizen. It is more than just electing a candidate, it’s choosing the right policies and people who have your best interests in mind when making decisions that will affect your community, state, and nation.
When you vote, you are taking an active role in deciding issues regarding health care, immigration, equal opportunity, voting rights, infrastructure, jobs, education, social security, neighborhood safety, taxes, etc. It is important for every voter to become informed about candidates’ positions on key issues, pray, and cast your vote. Every vote makes a difference.
While the election is only a few months away, the Wake County Board of Elections (BOE) is busily preparing for November 3, 2020 election. Given the COVID 19 pandemic, plans are underway to protect the health and safety of voters and election officials. If you are not yet registered to vote for the November 3, 2020 general election, you have until October 9, 2020 to do so.
Options for voting:
- Election Day, November 3, 2020 , 6:30am to 7:30pm– you should vote at your assigned precinct to ensure you receive a ballot that contains all races for which you are eligible to vote. If you do not vote in your assigned precinct on Election Day, you must vote a provisional ballot.
- Early Voting, October 15, 2020 through October 31, 2020—you can vote at any of the 20 early voting locations in Wake County. The sites will be open weekdays from 8:00am to 7:30pm, Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, and Sundays from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. The only exception is the last day of early voting, October 31, 2020, when the polls are open from 8:00am to 3:00pm. During early voting, you can:
- Register to vote and vote at the same time
- Update your name and address and vote
For more information about early voting and locations of all early voting sites, go to http://www.wakegov.com/elections/info/early/Pages/default.aspx
Sites are reviewed to ensure that they are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), have sufficient parking, have adequate space for social distancing, etc.
- Curbside Voting—Curbside voting is available at all North Carolina voting sites during the early voting period and on election day. Voting sites will have signage indicating curbside voting and will also have a curbside alert system. An election official will come to the vehicle to obtain the voter’s name and address. Before a ballot is issued to a curbside voter, the voter must swear an oath affirming his or her qualification to use curbside voting (such as age, physical disability, etc.).
- Absentee by Mail Voting—the last day to request an absentee ballot is October 27, 2020 at 5:00pm. However, voters are encouraged to submit their request ASAP. For more information about absentee ballot, go to http://www.wakegov.com/elections/info/Pages/absentee.aspx
Absentee Request Form -- http://msweb03.co.wake.nc.us/bordelec/downloads/9forms/9formslist/AbsenteeRequestForm.pdf
Consider Volunteering as a Precinct Official!
As a Precinct Official, you will work at one of Wake County's 206 polling places. Precinct Officials set up supplies and voting equipment, assist voters, verify their registration, issue ballots and manage crowds. They are assigned to positions based on their strengths, interests, and experience. You will be trained (via Zoom). And you get paid! For more information, go to http://www.wakegov.com/elections/getinvolved/Pages/getinvolved.aspx
COVID 19 Safeguards
- Precinct officials will be provided KN95 respirators, face shields or protective eyewear, and gloves.
- Voters will be encouraged to wear face coverings; face coverings will be offered to voters who do not have one. However, we cannot refuse voters their right to vote if they refuse OR cannot wear a face covering based on their individual circumstances.
- Social distancing will be followed. Sites will regulate the number of voters allowed inside the enclosure at one time.
- Individual pens will be provided to all voters.
- Sanitizing/disinfectant supplies will also be provided to disinfect the curbside privacy sleeve.
- More information will be known closer to the election.
Precinct Official since 2019