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A Tsunami of Vote-by-Mail Requests

If you have been thinking about voting by mail in the upcoming general election, you’re far from alone.

Amid growing sentiment that this year’s election is perhaps one of the most important in the nation’s history, voters in North Carolina are lining up at the post office to mail absentee voting requests to their local Board of Elections office.

According to recent information provided by the Old North State Politics blog, almost 100,000 North Carolina voters had requested absentee ballots for the November election as of July 27. The demand for off-site voting is a 400% increase over this point in 2016, according to Catawba College politics and history professor Michael Bitzer.

Obviously, the pandemic is a major reason why voters want to avoid visiting the polls this year. But the surge in absentee ballot requests is also likely due to interest in the presidential, gubernatorial and senate campaigns, tied to the status of North Carolina as a pivotal battleground state this year.

If you want to vote by mail, you have until 25 days before the November 3 election to request an application. But don’t wait until the last minute. Give the Brunswick County Board of Elections plenty of time to process your application and mail you an official ballot to make sure your vote counts.

One more tip — After you mail your request, give the Board of Elections a call to make sure it has received and processed your application.

We’ll have more information on Brunswick County voters requesting absentee ballots in future blog posts. Suffice it to say it’s a mixed crowd, with voters across the political spectrum making the requests. But voter registration numbers across the state tilt toward Democrats, with 36% of voters registering as Democrats and only 30% signing up as Republicans (33% of registered voters are “unaffiliated”).

Arthur Hill


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