North Carolina in-person early voting kicks off Thursday
A new in-person early voting option in North Carolina will begin on Thursday. The North Carolina early voting website was launched Friday, allowing voters to cast their ballots ahead of the Aug. 7 date of the 2018 primary.
For decades, the state has offered absentee voting options through absentee elections offices, and has relied on the votes of in-person voters. North Carolina became the final state to give voters the option of in-person early voting, and the state expects 5 million registered voters to vote early in person this year, up from the state’s 2014 numbers.
North Carolina voters registered on and after Jan. 1, 2016, will be able to vote in-person through the state’s new, open-ended early voting. The new voting option is separate from early voting conducted on Election Day, which is held every two years.
Participants who are unable to go to the polls because of medical reasons can still vote early. Non-violent felons can also vote by mail, but voters must confirm that they are qualified to vote early.
North Carolina was the first state to allow voters to cast their ballots early. The process is similar to absentee voting. In-person voters go to the early voting location with the county board of elections, or the board can appoint another person to lead the location. The person will then direct the voter to a table or voting area with a screen that shows the state voter ID verification page.
The person then verifies the voter’s identity by verifying the voter’s voter ID card. The voter then casts their vote on paper by either using their registered ballot or a provisional ballot.
North Carolina Election Commissioner Brad Miller said there is no evidence of voter fraud in the state since it put in place the in-person early voting option, which requires a different process.
“This new early voting option is an important step in the transition to a fully accessible election system, and we have been encouraging voters to participate in early voting as a way to ensure that our democracy is protected and preserved,” he said.
Voters can also register to vote early online via the NC Secretary of State’s website (www.ncsos.gov/early-voting/registration