CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thousands across the state are trying to avoid the virus and opting to vote from home.


What You Need To Know

  • Counties are required to give voters the option of filling out an absentee ballot or voting in-person

  • Many counties are holding a number of early voting sites

  • Poll workers will be wearing face shields and masks, and will be separated from voters by a sneeze guard



Staff at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, for instance, have set up a socially distanced assembly line in their office to process the mounds of absentee ballot requests. The phone is ringing off the hook for them, too.

Anyone anxious to cast their ballot early, as well as in-person, will have options similar to the amount held in past year. Mecklenburg County plans to have 33 early voting locations, Forsyth County will have 17, Durham will have 14, and New Hanover County will have nine.

But elections officials across the state are still preparing for people to vote in-person on Election Day; expect the check-in processwill be outdoors and the poll workers will be behind sneeze guards. They'll also be wearing masks and face shields.

Ballot machines will be spaced no less than 6 feet apart and voters will be given a stylus they can keep to make their selections on the machines without touching it with their fingers.

Precincts are also moving to larger venues. In Mecklenburg County, officials plan to use Spectrum Center, Bank of American stadium, Bojangles, and several school facilities.

“It has always been my purpose to make sure the voters have a choice, make sure they have a choice. Do they want to vote by mail? Well if that's the case, we're up to about 72,000 that want to vote by mail already, and they have already sent us their request in and my staff back here is working the request,” says Mecklenburg County elections director Michael Dickerson.

County boards of elections around the state are looking for people to help work the polls. High school students as young as 17 can sign on for some real-life civics experience. They just need permission from their parents and good standing in their classes.