JEFFERSON — Election season is in full swing, with Ashe County residents carrying out their civic duty by already sending back absentee ballots and preparing for in-person voting.

Voters will make selections for U.S. president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, N.C. governor, N.C. Senate, N.C. House, N.C. Supreme Court, N.C. Court of Appeals, district court judges, Ashe County Board of Commissioners, Ashe County Board of Education, Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor and several Council of State positions.

According to Devon Houck of the Ashe County Board of Elections, roughly 2,400 absentee ballots have already been sent out, with about 1,000 coming back. Houck said it was a large increase compared to 2018.

Canvass will be held in the Ashe County BOE office at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13.

One-stop voting

If someone has not registered to vote, the only option left is to do same-day registration at Ashe’s one-stop early voting site. This year, one-stop voting will be held at the Ashe County Agriculture Building, located at 134 Government Circle in Jefferson. One-stop voting will be held from Thursday, Oct. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 31.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, voters will enter through the back of the building. According to Elections Director John Shepherd, every voter will be asked to wear a mask, but the board cannot stop someone from voting if they are not, social distancing will be enforced and each booth will be cleaned in between each voter.

One-stop voting will be open:

  • Oct. 15 — Oct. 16 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Oct 19 — Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 26 – Oct. 30 from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register to vote

To be eligible to vote in the 2020 election, you must be: a citizen of the United States; at least 18 years old; have resided in North Carolina and in the precinct in which you present to vote for at least 30 days prior to the election; you must not be currently serving a felony sentence; and if previously convicted of a felony, you must have fully completed your sentence.

Voters are not currently required to provide photo ID to vote in North Carolina. Federal and state courts have temporarily blocked North Carolina’s voter photo ID requirement from taking effect until further order of the courts.

Residents can register to vote or update their registration during the early-voting period. Same-day registration is not available on Election Day.

Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of where they live. A voter attests to their eligibility by completing and signing a North Carolina Voter Registration Application. The voter must prove their residence by showing any of the following documents with their current name and address: a North Carolina driver’s license; other photo identification issued by a government agency that includes the voter’s current name and address; a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document showing the voter’s name and address; or a current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation.

Election Day

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Some residents of Ashe County’s 17 voting precincts could have a different Election Day polling site than in years past. That’s because county elections office have sought out larger venues for polling sites to provide more space for physical distancing amid COVID-19 concerns.

For more information about voting in Ashe County, contact the Ashe County Board of Elections office at (336) 846-5570 or by email at ashe.boe@gmail.com.

The elections office is located inside Ashe County Courthouse at 150 Government Circle Suite 2100 in Jefferson. Its website is www.ashecountygov.com/departments/board-of-elections.

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