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Complete coverage of Elections 2020. Reporting on major contested races in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

Mail-In Ballots Will Play A Major Role In This Year's Election

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State Board of Elections
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According to NHC Elections Board Director Rae Hunter-Havens, her office is receiving anywhere from 400 to 600 mail-in absentee requests a day.

  North Carolina is the first state in the country to mail out absentee ballots to those who have requested them. And they are going out starting Friday, September 4th. WHQR reports on how mail-in votes in New Hanover County will be processed and counted.   

The State Board of Elections now has an online portal to request an absentee ballot. But for those 18,000-some New Hanover County voters who have already asked for one, you should have it by Tuesday. 

The last day to request a ballot by mail is October 27th, and as for your marked ballot, it needs to be in the mail by 5 PM on Election Day, November 3rd.

Rae Hunter-Havens is the Elections Director for the county.

“Even if it’s postmarked on or before November 3rd, it physically needs to be in our office by Friday, November 6th. So there’s only a 3-day extension at that point.”

Once the absentee ballot is received, Hunter-Havens explains how it’s protected:

“All the ballots that are received are put into a secure room that has very limited access. We essentially only have one or two elections officials or staff members who have keys to these spaces.”

And she says once they receive them, they begin to sort and check the ballots for any deficiencies. They’ll contact you if there’s something wrong -- and will provide you a pathway to fix it. 

If your ballot doesn’t have any issues, here’s what’s next:

“We will pull the ballots out and we will scan them on a central tabulator and then we save that data. We run what’s called a precinct statistics report just to know how many we scan per precinct so we can check to make sure everything matches. The data itself will not be tabulated until Election Day at the Board’s meeting.”

Hunter-Havens says they have a phone number dedicated to questions about mail-in voting. It’s 910-798-7343. 

Resources:

  • September 3rd Press Release from Karen Brinson Bell, Executive Director of State Board of Elections