The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday January 22nd

How do you request an absentee ballot in Orange County?

DTH Photo Illusatration. A student fills out an mail-in ballot from her home in Chapel Hill, N.C. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have questions about fraud and voter turnout associated with mail-in ballots.
Buy Photos DTH Photo Illusatration. A student fills out an mail-in ballot from her home in Chapel Hill, N.C. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, voters have questions about fraud and voter turnout associated with mail-in ballots.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that residents can send their voting ballot to the Orange County Board of Elections via email, mail, fax or by dropping it off in person. Residents are not able to submit their ballot via these modalities, however they can submit their request for an absentee ballot through these avenues. The article has been updated to reflect the change in language. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error. 

Voting during the upcoming election is going to be very different this year as more people request absentee ballots due to COVID-19. 

You can visit the Orange County Board of Elections website to find the absentee ballot request form and print it out. You can also call 919-245-2350 to have a form mailed to you, or email the Orange County Board of Elections at vote@orangecountync.org to have a form emailed back to you. 

The United States Postal Service has warned that absentee ballots are not guaranteed to arrive on time to be counted, even if they are mailed in by the state deadlines. The Orange County Board of Elections is encouraging students to request absentee ballots early. 

The Daily Tar Heel's Britney Nguyen spoke with Rachel Raper, director of elections for Orange County, about how to vote by mail. The Orange County Board of Elections is currently accepting absentee ballot requests for the Nov. 3 general election.

How do I request an absentee ballot?

You can visit the Orange County Board of Elections website to find the absentee ballot request form and print it out. You can also call 919-245-2350 to have a form mailed to you, or email the Orange County Board of Elections at vote@orangecountync.org to have a form emailed back to you. 

Can I request an absentee ballot in Orange County if I’m not from Orange County?

To request an absentee ballot, you have to be registered to vote in the county that you are requesting a ballot from. In North Carolina, college students are able to register to vote in the county where they attend college. 

To register to vote in Orange County, you can go to the N.C. DMV website if you have a North Carolina driver's license, or mail a voter registration application to the Orange County Board of Elections, P.O. Box 220, Hillsborough, North Carolina, 27278. 

When should I request my absentee ballot?

Raper recommends requesting your ballot as soon as possible. The Orange County Board of Elections will begin mailing out absentee ballots on Sept. 4. Raper said if your housing status changes, make sure the ballot is sent to the address you need to receive it at. 

When’s the deadline to submit my absentee ballot?

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.

Where do I submit my absentee ballot request?

You can submit your absentee ballot request by mail to the Orange County Board of Elections,P.O. Box 220, Hillsborough, North Carolina, 27278. You can fax your ballot request to 919-644-3318. You can also send your ballot request form by email at vote@orangecountync.gov or return it in person to the Orange County Board of Elections office at 208 S. Cameron St. in Hillsborough. 

What if I want to vote in person?

For those who want to vote in person, Orange County will follow guidelines and procedures established by the State Board of Elections and the CDC to ensure that voters will be safe. 

Raper said these precautions include masks being available for voters, ballots marked with single-use pens and social distancing enforced for election officials and voters. 

Early voting will occur Oct. 15-31 at:

  • Orange Works at Hillsborough Commons (113 Mayo St., Hillsborough)
  • Carrboro Town Hall (301 W. Main Street, Carrboro)
  • Chapel of the Cross (304 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill)
  • Efland Ruritan Club (3009 Forrest Avenue, Efland)
  • Seymour Senior Center (2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill)
  • University Mall (201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel Hill)

@britneycath

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com  

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