Voters Q&A

Source: Wake County Board of ElectionsOctober 6, 2005 

1. I am registered unaffiliated; may I vote in a primary election? You may register with any political party recognized in the state of North Carolina. While party affiliation normally determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote, the Durham mayoral and city council primary is nonpartisan. All registered voters are eligible to vote in the primary, regardless of party affiliation.

2. When are the polls open? The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

3. How do I know where to vote? When you register or make an address change or information change, or if the Board of Elections assigns you to a new precinct or polling place, the Board of Elections sends you a new voter card. Your voting place (polling place) is printed on the card. You are assigned a polling place according to which precinct you live in. The voter information there is updated roughly once a week. If you don’t know where to vote or if you have moved from the residence address that the board has on file, don’t wait until Election Day! You may be delayed in voting if your residence address is not up to date or if mail the board has sent to your voter registration address was returned to us by the Postal Service.

4. How do I know if my voter registration is up to date? If you are not sure of the status of your voter registration, call your local Board of Elections office and someone will verify your registration status. You may also use the voter search Web site to determine your registration status and voting location. The data are updated about once a week.

5. What is a provisional ballot? The provisional ballot allows voters who do not appear on a precinct’s poll list to vote. The provisional voter completes information on the provisional envelope indicating why the voter thinks he or she should be allowed to vote. The voter also completes an attached voter registration update form. The voter then fills out the ballot and seals it in the envelope. Provisional ballots are returned to the Board of Elections office the day after the election in a sealed bag and are researched to verify that the voter was eligible and filled out the correct ballot.

6. I registered to vote but received a letter from the Board of Elections indicating that I completed a non-HAVA compliant form. What does that mean? Will I be allowed to vote? As of Jan. 1 2004, all new registrants had to submit voter registration applications on forms compliant with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Your original “non-HAVA”-compliant registration form, if received or postmarked by Oct. 8, is considered an “on-time” registration attempt. If your HAVA-compliant form, which was sent with the letter, was received at the Board of Elections office before the poll lists were printed, your name will be on the poll list at your precinct. If the form was not received in time, you are eligible to fill out a provisional ballot, which will be counted.

7. I registered to vote but received a letter from the board of elections indicating that I did not check the citizenship box. I received a letter indicating that I did not sign my registration form. I received a letter indicating that I did not include a valid date of birth. Will I be allowed to vote? If you did not check the citizenship box, sign your form or include a valid date of birth. Your original registration, if it was received or postmarked by Oct. 8, is considered an “on-time” registration attempt. If your corrected copy is returned to the Board of Elections office before the poll lists are printed, your name will be on the poll list at your precinct. If the corrected copy was not received in time, you are eligible to fill out a provisional ballot.

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