RALEIGH, N.C. -- Florence’s impact is being felt in many different ways in North Carolina. One of those ways may be one you hadn’t thought of, voting.
- Voting registration deadline could be pushed back
- Early voting begins on Oct. 17.
- Election Day is Nov. 6.
New Bern is one of the most damaged places in the state, in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, the Craven County Elections Office was largely spared by the storm.
“Our building didn’t flood," Craven County director of elections Meloni Wray said. "The administration building was one of the few that did not flood downtown, but we do not have air conditioning.”
Aside from working out of a hot and humid building, Wray says they’re functioning as usual, but they're facing a particular challenge.
“We are now in the process, in my office, looking at the absentee ballot requests by mail,” Wray said.
As more people are displaced by rising floodwaters and moving into local shelters, Wray says requests for absentee ballots are on the rise.
“All you need to do is send in an absentee ballot request form to your County Board of Elections or the State Board," Patrick Gannon of the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics said. "And you'll be sent an absentee ballot."
Gannon says the board is working to make sure every absentee ballot request is answered, and delivered to where it needs to go.
"We've sent roughly 70 packages to 70 shelters that include absentee ballot request forms," Gannon said. "They include voter registration applications. They include those two documents in English and Spanish and they include a return envelope, so the shelter managers can return any forms that they collect to our office at the State Board."
Gannon says the voting registration deadline could be pushed back, just as it was in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Early voting begins on Oct. 17. Election Day is Nov. 6.