By Tim Gardner
The voter registration deadline for the next month’s (Nov. 3) presidential election has ended. However, registered voters may still choose to mail in absentee votes, with one-stop voting beginning October 15.
A sample ballot for all Avery County Votes may be found by logging online to this address.
One-stop early voting–including curb side voting– will open Thursday, Oct. 15, in Avery County at the pool complex, located at 220 Shady Street in Newland. Early voting continues through Saturday, Oct. 31. One-stop and curb-side voting will take place at the following dates and times:
Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15 and 16: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 23: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 31: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In 2020, every voting site in North Carolina offers curbside voting for voters who are unable to enter the voting place without physical assistance due to age or disability.
The term “disability” means if you:
*Are unable to enter the polling place due to age or physical or mental disability, such as agoraphobia;
*Have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of COVID-19;
*Should not wear a mask due to a medical or behavioral condition or disability; or
*Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
*In addition to making polling places accessible to voters, the State Board of Elections strives to provide voters with options if they are unable to make it inside the polling place to vote.
Through curbside voting, a voter can cast a ballot while in a vehicle outside the polling location. Some sites also provide a walk-up area for curbside voting in addition to the drive-up area.
Curbside voting is offered at each Election Day polling place and one-stop early voting site. Signs should be in place to direct voters to the curbside voting location.
Curbside voters must sign an affidavit affirming that they are unable to enter the voting place to cast their ballot.
A curbside voter has the same rights to assistance as any other voter. Information on the particulars of curbside voting at a specific polling place or early voting site can be obtained from the site’s respective county board of elections. Voting a mail-in absentee ballot from home is another option.
Voters may contact the elections office to request an absentee ballot be mailed to them. The deadline to submit an absentee ballot request for the Nov. 3, 2020, General Election is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. Completed absentee ballots may be submitted through one of these methods:
*By mail to the county board of elections, postmarked on or before Election Day, and received by 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 6.
*By commercial courier service (DHL, FedEx or UPS)
*Dropped off in person at the county board of elections office by 5:00 p.m. Election Day (November 3)
*Dropped off in person at the early voting site in the county during voting hours (October 15–31).
Note that voted absentee ballots will not be accepted at polling places on Election Day.
Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the following 19 precincts across Avery County, where curb-side voting may also be done:
Altamont — Crossnore Town Hall Annex / 1 Fountain Circle, Crossnore, 28616
Banner Elk — Banner Elk Town Hall / 200 Park Avenue, Banner Elk, 28604
Beech Mountain — Beech Mountain Elementary School / 60 Flat Springs Road, Elk Park, 28622
Carey’s Flat — Hopewell Baptist Church / 5104 Edgemont Road, Collettsville, 28611
Cranberry — Historic Cranberry High School / 5215 Elk Park Highway, Elk Park, 28622
Elk Park — Avery County Rescue Squad Building / 205 Ice Plant Street, Elk Park, 28622
Frank — Frank Fire Department / 699 North US 19E, Newland, 28657
Heaton — Heaton Christian Church / 210 Curtis Creek Road, Elk Park, 28622
Hughes — Chestnut Dale Baptist Church / 1700 Squirrel Creek Road, Newland, 28657
Ingalls — Green Valley Fire Hall / 8062 South US 19E, Newland, 28657
Linville — Linville Fire Hall / 590 NC 105, Newland, 28657
Minneapolis — Minneapolis Baptist Church Fellowship Hall / 47 Minneapolis School Road, Newland, 28657
Montezuma — Aaron Baptist Church / 24 Aaron Church Lane, Newland, 28657
Newland #1 — Morrison Library / 150 Library Road, Newland, 28657
Newland #2 — Avery County Senior Center / 155 Schultz Circle, Newland, 28657
Pineola — Land Harbor Recreation Complex / 22 Land Harbor Parkway, Newland, 28657
Plumtree — Riverside Elementary School / 8020 South US Highway 19E, Newland, 28657
Pyatte — Pyatte Community Center / 141 Rodgers Ridge Road, Newland, 28657
Roaring Creek — Roaring Creek Missionary Baptist Church / 2044 Roaring Creek Road, Newland 28657
In addition to elections for the nation’s president, North Carolina governor, a U.S. Senator, and other state, national, county and local district races are on the 2020 ballot, including N.C. House District 85, N.C. Senate District 46, Avery County Board of Commissioners and also includes numerous races for North Carolina judicial seats.
As of October, 10, there are 12,161 registered voters in Avery County. That total includes 7,057 Republicans; 1,408 Democrats; 3,623 Unaffiliated; 60 Libertarians; 8 Constitution Party voters; and 5 Green Party voters. (Source: North Carolina Board of Elections).
The Avery County Board of Elections Office, located in the Avery County Court House Annex in Newland is closed until further notice due to sickness of its employees. But election and related information may be accessed by calling its office phone number (828) 733-8282 where callers will receive a recorded message with election information. Additionally, it can be accessed on the Avery Board of Elections computer web site at: http://www.averycountync.gov/departments/board_elections_office.php
To register in North Carolina, you must:
*Be a citizen of the United States
*Have lived at the registered address for at least thirty days immediately before the next election at which you want to vote
*Be 18 years of age by the day of the next general election
*Have your rights of citizenship restored if you have been convicted of a felony and completed your felony sentence including probation, post release supervision, parole or a prison term
*Not be registered or vote in any other county or state