Politics & Government

On Election Day, here’s how to report problems you see at the polls

Five things you need to know to vote in November

The 2018 mid-term election will include federal, state and local offices, along with six amendments the legislature wants on the ballot. Here's what you need to know to vote.
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The 2018 mid-term election will include federal, state and local offices, along with six amendments the legislature wants on the ballot. Here's what you need to know to vote.

More than 2 million people have voted in North Carolina leading up to Election Day on Tuesday, but not without some drama, conflict and glitches.

There have been accusations of voter intimidation by a state representative and a poll worker, of a volunteer being confronted with a gun and racial slurs, and of alleged assault by a candidate. Some people said touchscreen voting machines changed their votes.

Problems from other states and past elections range from ineligible voters, to closed polling places and rejected ballots, to confusion among election workers. For example, you’re not required to show ID under most circumstances in North Carolina.

In 2017, the state board released an audit of the 2016 general election that found there were 508 ineligible votes cast, and most were from felons serving active sentences.

So what do you do if you see problems at polling places on Tuesday?

First of all, contact state authorities. The North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement is the bipartisan state agency which oversees elections. To contact the board, call (919) 814-0700 or (866) 522-4723. You can also email the board at elections.sboe@ncsbe.gov. The agency has a Google form so voters can report any incident at polling places immediately.

To contact the Wake County Board of Elections, call (919) 856-6240 or email voter@wakegov.com. For the contact information for other counties, the state board has a comprehensive list on its website.

Issues and complaints can also be reported to the U.S. Department of Justice on its website.

You can contact The News & Observer at dome@newsobserver.com or call us at (919) 829-4840 to report any incidents at polling places.

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Electionland is also a good resource for reporting incidents. This is a project from the news organization ProPublica that aims to bring attention to intimidation, fraud or other problems with your experience voting. There’s a form on Electionland’s website or you can text VOTE to 81380.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, a nonpartisan group in D.C., has a hotline that voter incidents can be reported to. Trained legal professionals operate their hotline, which you can call at 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683).

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