By Nathan Ham
The North Carolina Board of Elections approved an early-voting location on Appalachian State’s campus by a 3-2 vote that took place August 31.
The voting site will be at the Plemmons Student Union, where students typically vote during normal Election Day hours as well.
Two locations were originally proposed for an early-voting location. In addition to the student union, the Holmes Convocation Center was also presented as an option for an early-voting site.
App State’s campus location is one of six early-voting sites located in Watauga County. The other sites are the Watauga County Administration Building on King Street, Blowing Rock Talk Hall on Main Street, Deep Gap Fire Department on Old U.S. 421 South, High Country Vacation Homes in Foscoe and the Western Watauga Community Center on Old U.S. Highway 421 in Sugar Grove.
Early-voting will begin on October 15 and conclude on October 31. Hours vary on weekdays and weekends. From October 15 through October 30 on weekdays, the sites are open from 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, October 17 and Saturday, October 24, early-voting locations are open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on on Saturday, October 31, the sites are open from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
As a reminder, North Carolina voters have three options for voting: mail-in absentee, in-person during the early-voting period, and in-person on Election Day. Significant health safeguards will be in place for voters who cast their ballot in person.
Absentee voting by mail is expected to be higher than ever this year due to COVID-19. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 27; however, to avoid any problems caused by U.S. Postal Service delays, state and county boards of elections are encouraging individuals to not wait until the last day to request them. No special circumstance or reason is needed to request, receive and vote by absentee ballot. Any North Carolina registered voter may request and receive a mail-in absentee ballot for the 2020 general election. Absentee ballots will not be sent unless they are requested.
Election Day is Nov. 3. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and voters should vote at their assigned precinct.