Election season ’22 is here. There are three things that every voter needs to make sure that they take care of for the upcoming vote. First, make sure to arrange your schedule so that you have time to vote. Second, make sure you know which candidates that you are voting for. Finally, make sure you understand the process by which you will vote.
Although the actual act of voting is fairly short, there are many people who need to cast their votes. So, voting may take quite a while. For this reason, it is very important to make sure that you will have time enough time to vote. Make sure that you will have time within your work schedule to go cast your ballot. It is also important to know that schools tend to close on election day, so make sure that you can find a sitter if you can’t take your kids with you to vote. It is best to plan both of these things well in advance so you can make changes to your plans if necessary. It would also be advisable to have a backup plan or plans. However, having the time to vote is pointless if you don’t know who to vote for.
There are lots of candidates running for a number of different positions. You may find it helpful to research the role and responsibilities of each position, but it is equally important to understand the candidates themselves. Most candidates will have an online presence where they state their views, qualifications, and campaign promises. However, one must ensure that the candidate they vote for is trustworthy. Many politicians will run campaign ads that showcase their opponent’s faults in addition to the ones that promote the politician who is running them. While their may be some truth to these ads, it is important to do you own research as these ads don’t always tell the whole story. One should also make sure to pay attention to the news. However, one should be sure that they are getting both their information about the candidates and their news from a trustworthy source. Of course, one also needs to understand the actual process of voting as well.
The election process can be somewhat confusing. In order to better inform our readers, we reached out to Rutherford County Board of Elections Director Dawn Lovelace to answer a few questions for us.
1. What is the process for collecting and counting votes in 2022? Has there been any change since the 2020 election?
Rutherford County uses paper ballots. The ballot is inserted into a tabulator at the precinct, or One-Stop voting site. The tabulator scans the ballot and records the votes. For added security and accuracy, three copies of the results are produced.
1. The original ballot
2. A paper trail recorded by the tabulator
3. A digital record of each vote on a Flash drive inside the tabulator.
At the end of the day, when the polls close, a bi-partisan team will close the tabulator and seal the ballots, flash drive and results tape for transport to our office. We use the flash drive to collect the results using a software system that is not, and never has been, connected to the internet.
If the ballot is an Absentee by Mail ballot, once our board approves it, the process is the same. The ballot is entered into a tabulator with our board’s supervision, and counted the same as One-Stop or Election Day voting
There have been no changes to this process since 2020, no.
2. What’s the status of Voter ID in North Carolina? If I’m a voter, what do I need to bring with me to the polls to satisfy this requirement?
A North Carolina superior court has permanently enjoined the law requiring photo ID for voting. Following a trial in April 2021, a three-judge panel in the Holmes v. Moore case concluded that the voter photo ID law violated the North Carolina Constitution. The court’s decision, which was issued on Sept. 17, 2021, means that voters are not required to show photo ID in elections in North Carolina.
3. How do I register to vote in Rutherford County and when is the deadline to do so in order to participate in the 2022 election?
If you are eligible to register to vote, North Carolina offers two primary ways to register:
Online or in person at the DMV.
NC DMV has collaborated with the Board of Elections to offer an online portal for existing DMV customers with a DMV-issued driver’s license or ID, to register to vote or update your current voter registration. Please visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/registering/how-register/complete-your-registration-online-through-dmv .
Fill out the English N.C. Voter Registration Application; (https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Voter_Registration/NCVoterRegForm_06W.pdf) or the Spanish N.C. Voter Registration Application; (https://s3.amazonaws.com/dl.ncsbe.gov/Voter_Registration/NCVoterRegForm_09W.pdf) and submit it by mail. Forms are also available at our office on Fairground Road. Note: The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain voters an expedited means to register and vote by mail-in ballot. Find more information at Military and Overseas Voting (https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail/military-and-overseas-voting).
4. Where do I vote in the county and do we have any early voting options for 2022?
If you are registered to vote in Rutherford County, you can go to our website (http://cms6.revize.com/revize/rutherfordnc/departments/board_of_elections/index.php), click Where do I vote? You may also visit our website to see your sample ballot (https://www.rutherfordcountync.gov/departments/board_of_elections/index.php).
The deadline to register and vote on Election Day is October 14, 2020. An applicant may register and vote at one of our One-stop locations during One-Stop with the proper documentation. This is called Same-Day Registration. For more information please visit: https://www.ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-early-person
5. How many registered voters does Rutherford County have?
As of 09/26/2022 Rutherford County has 46,403 registered voters.
6. What percentage of those registered usually participate in a mid-term election?
Participation always varies depending on what is on the ballot. As a point of reference, the last General election comparable to this one was 2018 and voter turnout for that election was 51%.
In North Carolina, in person early voting opens on Thursday, October 20th and ends Saturday, November 5th at 3:00 PM. In person voting will also be open on Tuesday, November 8th. For more information, please visit the elections board website (https://www.rutherfordcountync.gov/departments/board_of_elections/index.php).