Make Every Vote Count
Are you wondering how you can be sure your vote will count? Here are a few ways to ensure every vote counts in 2020.
If you have any questions about how to ensure your ballot will count, you can contact our Nonpartisan Voter Information Hotline at 888-OUR-VOTE.
Track Your Absentee Ballot
If you voted by mail (absentee), you can track your ballot using the NC State Board of Elections Ballottrax system.
If your ballot is not showing as “received” and “accepted” within a reasonable amount of time of you submitting it, you can contact your county Board of Elections to find out why this may be (find contact info by county here).
How Absentee Ballots Are Counted
Due to COVID, more absentee ballots will be cast than ever before. So each North Carolina county Board of Elections has processed these ballots at least once a week since September 29th, 2020 in order to have the most accurate count. Your ballot envelope will be checked for deficiencies and then put through a ballot scanner but is NOT tabulated until after Election Day.
What if your ballot was found to have deficiencies?
So far, only a small number of returned ballots have deficiencies (such as lack of voter or witness signature or a witness address that cannot be confirmed).
If a deficiency is found, your county Board of Elections will contact you and inform you of your options.
Follow the directions on your absentee ballot closely to make sure you vote counts.
As counties process absentee ballots and find deficiencies, they contact voters to inform them that their ballot was not filled out correctly.
NC has a “cure process” in place this year so that voters can validate their ballot without having to submit a new ballot.
Voters with ballots with the following issues on their ballot can correct them through this cure process:
- Voter did to sign the Voter Certification on the absentee ballot return envelope.
- Voter signed in the wrong place.
- Witness or assistant did not print name.
- Witness or assistant did not print address.
- Witness or assisting signed the wrong line.
The following issues will require a new (reissued) ballot:
- Witness or assistant did not sign the absentee ballot return envelope.
- Envelope appears unsealed upon arrival to the county board of elections office.
- Envelope indicates that the voter is requesting a new ballot.
Through the “cure process,” the voter will receive a “Cure Certification” through the mail and via the email the voter provided when requesting their ballot. The voter can sign the mailed “Cure Certification” by signing with a regular pen. The voter can sign the emailed “Cure Certification” with a unique (not typed) signature.
Cure certifications can be submitted to the county board of elections by:
- in person,
- by USPS,
- by commercial carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.)
Cure certifications can be returned only by the voter, the voter’s near relative or legal guardian, or a multi-partisan assistance team (MAT).
If the issue requires a new ballot to be issued:
- The voter will be mailed a new ballot.
- The voter will vote the ballot.
- The voter can return:
- via mail,
- in person at an Early Voting site in their county, or
- at their County Board of Elections office
*Only the voter or the voter’s near relative or legal guardian may return the ballot.
NOTE: Voters whose ballots were marked as deficient or were spoiled may choose to vote in person during Early Voting or on Election day as long as they DO NOT vote their reissued absentee ballot.
How Votes are Counted after Election Day
While North Carolina’s process of compiling election results begins at individual voting precincts after the polls close on election night, the “canvass” process continues when the county board of elections compiles election results from all precincts and makes the official report of the outcome of the election within the county. As part of the process, county election officials review absentee ballots and provisional ballots to determine if they should count.
By law, county boards of elections meet at 11 a.m,. on the 10th day after the election; but counties can have preliminary meetings (pre-canvass meetings) when one day may not be enough. For the 2020 General Election, Day(s) of Canvass will be November 12th and November 13th at 11 AM.
If you are interested in helping to monitor the “Day of Canvass” process, you can get more information and sign up here.