2020 Election Guide

October 8, 2020

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. North Carolina allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You can also vote in person in North Carolina during early voting and on Election Day.

Voter eligibility information 

Here are the qualifications to be eligible to vote. 

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be a resident of the county, and prior to voting in an election, must have resided at his or her residential address for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election.
  • Must be at least 18 years old or will be 18 by the date of the next general election.
  • Must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or on parole). If previously convicted of a felony, the person’s citizenship rights must be restored. Citizenship and voting rights are automatically restored upon completion of the sentence. No special document is needed.
  • Must rescind any previous registration in another county or state.
  • You can always register to vote at county election departments, local banks, any local DMV and most political party headquarters.

If you are a first time voter, click here to register. 

Updating your voter registration status 

Early voting

The early voting period runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020.

  • If you’ve voted in North Carolina before, you don’t need to show ID to vote.
  • If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn’t provide your driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration form, you will need to show ID to vote. Acceptable forms include: a driver’s license or state ID; US Passport; employee ID; student ID; military ID; or a copy of a utility bill, bank statement or paycheck.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will still be able to vote a provisional ballot and can bring one of these documents to the board of elections prior to canvass.

Voting by absentee ballot

  1. Request your mail-in ballot with an Absentee Ballot Request Form.
  2. Fill out the application completely.
  3. Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.

You can also drop off your absentee ballot

Buncombe County Election Services is proud to announce a dedicated drop-off area for returning absentee ballots. There is now a drop-off area in the parking lot at Election Services’ Office, 77 McDowell St., where absentee ballots can be returned.

Simply follow the signs to the side of the building and an absentee specialist will come out to assist you.

Note: The drop off will be open through Election Day (Nov. 3), and is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Voting on Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Click here to view your sample ballot and find your precinct. 

Dates and deadlines

  • The deadline to register online to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Friday, October 9, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Friday, October 9, 2020, you can register and vote in person at one-stop sites during the early voting period, which runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020. This process is known as same-day registration. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. Within two business days, the county board of elections will review the registration and the registrant’s address. Your vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that you are not qualified to vote.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

Information from the American Association of University Women:

“We still believe Absentee voting is a great choice – the mail is secure in our county, and if done early (first to submit the Absentee Ballot Request online), it is secure.   Some risks exist with in-person voting such as the possibility that with poll workers in short supply, there may be long lines at our county’s usually easily accessed polls.  Secondly, while poll workers will follow all Covid-safety procedures, face coverings are encouraged for voters (and masks will be provided if needed), but voters who choose not to use face coverings will not be turned away,” creating some concern for those who are in the vulnerable population by age or pre-existing health conditions.  Absentee ballots can be mailed, dropped off at Election Services, or Early voting sites — however there will be no dedicated line at EV sites – and voters will need to go inside to meet with election officials — both  more concern for Covid risk there.”

City Council Candidate Interviews

Corey Atkins, our Vice President of Public Policy, interviewed the 2020 Asheville City Council candidates on a variety of business-related topics, including key components of the AVL Greater strategic vision. Click on the upper right corner to expand the chart below and follow links to the full interviews, or click here to access the matrix. Watch each video in full on our Youtube channel. 

Webinars and Recordings

The State of Things interview with Chris Cooper – What You Need to Know About the NC Council of State 

Policy On Tap: Talking Elections 

Other helpful links

North Carolina Board of Elections website

Buncombe County Board of Elections website 

Click here for a comprehensive guide to candidates, districts, and more for the 2020 election