15 Quick Tips For Voting In North Carolina in 2014
With all the confusion about voting this year, due in large part to the voter suppression law passed last year, Bob Hall at Democracy North Carolina has compiled a list of 15 tips for voting this year. The list was vetted by the State Board of Elections, so you can trust it.
Remember, if you have ANY issues voting at all, call the voter protection hotline - 888-OUR-VOTE.
1. You may take a list of your choices inside the polling place, but do not show the list to others or leave it behind. Using a cell phone (or camera) is prohibited inside the poll so put the list on paper.
2. You can check your registration, see a sample ballot, and find your polling place at www.demnc.co/myreg; enter your first and last name or use the wildcard (*) and partial spelling of your name.
3. “Straight-ticket voting” is no longer an option on the ballot. Mark you choice in each race. Republican candidates are listed first in partisan races.
4. Don’t forget the non-partisan races, for example, for judges. They are toward the end of the ballot, with candidates listed in reverse alphabetical order. Look on both sides of the ballot.
5. You may wear a button or shirt with a candidate’s name when you vote, but don’t actively draw attention to it.
6. Officials will ask if you have a photo ID, but you don’t need to show one or even answer the question to vote. However, new voters in a county may need to show an ID if there was a problem with some information provided on their registration form. In that case, they would need to show any type of current photo ID (employee card, student ID, etc.) OR one of these with their name and current address: a utility bill, bank or bank-card statement, payroll stub, or any government document (license, bill, letter, etc.).
7. If you’ve moved within your county, the easiest way to update a registration (and vote) is during Early Voting. If you wait until Election Day, you may be sent to a different precinct to vote. You may also update changes to your name when you vote.
8. You don’t lose your right to vote if you have an outstanding traffic ticket, warrant, bankruptcy, fine, or misdemeanor conviction. No elections official will ask you about these.
9. People convicted of a felony in any state may register and vote in NC after serving their sentence, including probation. No document certifying the restoration of your citizenship rights is needed. But you must first register to vote like any other citizen.
10. You don’t need an excuse to request a mail-in absentee ballot. Any voter can use one. When you send the ballot back, be sure to sign the form. Follow the instructions carefully! Click on “How to Vote by Mail” on this all-purpose website: www.NCVoter.org.
11. Absentee ballots and ballots cast during Early Voting count just like those cast on Election Day. It’s a myth that they are not counted unless the election is close.
12. On Election Day, vote at your precinct’s polling place, based on where you lived on October 5. Out-of-precinct voting is not allowed except in rare cases.
13. If you mark the wrong choice by mistake, ask the official for a new ballot to replace a “spoiled” one.
14. A voter with a disability may receive assistance from anyone of their choice, except their employer or union agent. Any voter may receive assistance from a family member.
15. If your name does not appear on the registration rolls or you have any problem when you vote, you should be offered a provisional ballot and a way to learn if the ballot gets counted or if not, why not.