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You asked, BPR is answering: How to vote in the 2022 election

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We’re partnering with America Amplified to answer questions about how to participate in the 2022 midterm elections.

Blue Ridge Public Radio is part of a new community-powered journalism project to answer all your questions about how to exercise your right to vote in the upcoming midterms. Our mission is to provide you with the information you need to vote. We’re not concerned about who you vote for, we just want to make sure you have the information you need to vote and understand how elections are run and kept secure. You can also text your questions to us!

Just text [BPR] to 855-670-1777 and follow the prompts to submit a question about participating in the midterm elections.

Here are some key election dates: 

  • Online and mail-in voter registration must be done by October 14th at 5pm. Here’s where you can register to vote. 
  • One-stop early voting runs from October 20th to November 5th at 3pm. During early voting, people can register to vote and cast ballots at any polling place in their county of residence.
  • If you don’t plan to vote in-person, you can request anabsentee ballot for any reason before November 1st and those must be mailed by Election Day, Tuesday November 8th
  • On Election Day, November 8th, you must vote at your precinct. Find out the location here

Here are some of the top questions from listeners: 

Q: What documents do you need to register to vote? 

A: Proof of residence is required to register to vote.You can learn more about what documents that you can bring here. Eligible individuals may also register in person during the Early Voting period from October 20th to November 5th. You do not need to bring your ID to vote on Election Day. The online and mail-in deadline to register is October 14th.

Q: Can I vote early or by mail?

A: Yes. Early voting runs from October 20th to November 5th. You can find out more information here about early voting in North Carolina. To request a mail-in ballot and find out more about that process, go here. 

Q: I'm a registered voter but now, due to poor health, I'm housebound. So how does one go about finding a notary to come to my house to notarize my absentee ballot? And how much will this cost me?

A: In North Carolina, you can have a notary or two witnesses sign your ballot. Request an absentee ballot and find out more here. Under state law, notaries cannot charge for their services when certifying an absentee ballot. Find a notary here. Those in need of assistance with obtaining or casting absentee ballots can request help from the person of their choice.

Q: Who and what is on my ballot?

A: You can find out who and what is on your ballot by entering your address at the NC State Board of Elections "sample ballot" search. You can also find more information about candidates by entering your address here on Ballotpedia. Find BPR’s local and statewide coverage of the November election here.

Q: When will we receive our mail in ballots?  Some of my neighbors have gotten theirs.

A: The state began mailing absentee ballots on September 9th to those who had already requested them. After that day, the state’s website says you can expect your ballot within about a week of requesting it. Here’s where to request your ballot before November 1st and it must be mailed by Election Day. You can track your absentee ballot on the state’s website.

Q: I know that you can get an early ballot, fill it out, and then drop it off at an early voting location. However, can you get the ballot, fill it out, and then submit it on the day of the election at your normal voting location? 

The early voting period for the 2022 general election begins Thursday, October 20, 2022, and ends at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Registered voters or eligible individuals in North Carolina may cast an absentee ballot in person during this time at any early voting location. You can searchearly voting locations here. However you cannot return your absentee ballot in person on Election Day. On Election Day registered voters must vote at their assigned polling place.

Q: If on Election Day, someone comes to the wrong precinct and chooses to vote via a provisional ballot, will their vote be counted?

A: Each county’s Board of Elections decides whether or not a provisional ballot is valid and should be counted, including those cast outside of their assigned precinct. Here’s more info.

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.