You can still vote early in the primary elections until Saturday

What you need to know if you plan to vote early in primary elections
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 9:31 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 7:52 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - You have a chance to make your voice heard in the 2022 primary elections. Early voting runs from April 28 to May 14, and primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 17.

Anyone who missed the deadline to register can do it during the early voting period. Proof of address is required to register during one-stop early voting. Acceptable proof of residence can be found here.

You will need to provide your name, address, and party affiliation since it is a primary election, but you do not need to provide a photo ID for any North Carolina election.

To find early voting locations in your county, click here. Although you can only vote at your designated polling place on election day, you can vote at any of the early voting locations in your county during the early voting period.

Though the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot has passed for the primaries, you can still turn in your ballot to any one-stop early voting location on or before May 14. You can also return your absentee ballot to your county’s Board of Elections site before May 17 at 5 p.m. If you don’t have a postmark on your ballot, then your deadline to drop off your ballot is Monday, May 16.

For more information about voting in North Carolina, click here to go to the state board of elections website.

This year’s election will look a little different than the 2020 election. The biggest change is the absentee mailing ballots process.

“The big change this year from 2020 is with absentee by mail voting,” said Brunswick County Director of Elections Sarah LaVere. “In 2020, you only had to have one witness for your absentee ballot. And that was just for the 2020 general election. We are back now to you need two witnesses or a notary public.”

Another change in this year’s election: many of the restrictions put in place during the pandemic won’t be seen this time around.

Polls across North Carolina are not requiring masks or social distancing for voters or poll workers.

LaVere says, since the election in 2020 left many voters skeptical of the integrity of the system, it’s important for people to know the work that is done behind the scenes.

“We test everything,” she said. “And then we have a good chain of custody showing that it hasn’t been tampered with before it gets put out in the polling place. We do post election audits so hand eye count for two voting places to make sure that the results we released match what we reported on election night.”

Speculation about the fairness of the system has taken its toll on board of elections too, she says.

“I think just all of the speculation definitely makes our job more difficult,” said LaVere. “Just because people don’t take the time to find out what is going on or what’s happening. They just hear something and they take it for fact.”

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