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Posted on: September 15, 2020

Elections Department releases video about safety precautions taken for election

VOTING SAFELY

The Orange County Board of Elections, in conjunction with the Orange County Health Department, Public Libraries and Community Relations Department, has created a video about the voting process for the upcoming Presidential election.

The video features the six Early Voting sites and a demonstration of the safety protocols that will be in place during early voting and on Election Day. The video is in English, Spanish and Chinese and can be found on the library’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/OCNCPublicLibraries).

“We are doing all we can to ensure you can vote safely in Orange County,” said Rachel Raper, Orange County Elections Director.

Each voting location during early voting and on Election Day will feature enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing and single-use pens and single-use cotton swabs for voters, Raper said.

Due to federal voting laws, voters will be asked but not required to wear masks. Any voter who doesn’t have a mask will be offered one, Raper said.

Voters who do not wish to vote in person can choose to vote by mail. Registered voters may request a ballot through the N.C. State Board of Elections’ Online Absentee Request Portal. If you wish to request an absentee ballot, your request must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Requests received after that time cannot be processed.

Registered voters can also print and fill out the State Absentee Ballot Request form found on the Orange County website. Requests must be signed by the voter or a near relative who is making a request on behalf of a voter. Please read the instructions on the form carefully.

Completed requests may be mailed (PO Box 220, Hillsborough 27278), emailed (vote@orangecountync.gov), faxed (919-644-3318) or hand delivered to our office (208 S Cameron St. Hillsborough 27278).

The county began mailing absentee ballots Sept. 4. A by-mail absentee voter must have one witness in their presence as they complete their ballot and application envelope.

“The primary reason absentee ballots are not accepted is due to missing signatures, either the witness or the voter,” Raper said. “Should there be an issue with the acceptance of a ballot, our office will contact the voter within one business day.”

Completed, witnessed absentee ballot envelopes may be returned immediately to the Board of Elections office at 208 S Cameron St. Hillsborough. Staff is available to accept returned ballots Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ballots may also be returned to an open early voting site rather than the Board of Elections during the hours of Early Voting; however, absentee ballot envelopes may not be accepted on Election Day at the polls.

Voters who receive a mailed absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot was not returned.

Voters who vote by mail can check the status of the ballot three different ways. The N.C. State Board of Elections has created a BallotTrax online service for voters to check to see if their ballot was received. Voters can also check the status of their absentee ballot using the voter search tool on the NCSBE website or contact their county board of elections.

Voters are discouraged from coming to their polling place on Election Day to check the status of their absentee ballot. It is against the law to mail an absentee ballot and attempt to vote in person.

Critical dates

  • Oct. 15 – Early voting begins at six locations in Orange County
  • Oct. 27 – Requests for absentee ballots must be received by the Orange County Board of Elections by 5 p.m. (not postmarked, but received).
  • Oct. 31 – Early voting ends at 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 3 – Election Day polls are open 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Absentee ballots can be hand-delivered to the Orange County Board of Elections until 5 p.m. Absentee ballots may not be returned to Election Day polling places. Absentee ballots returned via mail must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6 to be considered timely

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