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Wake County Election Day 2020: What to know, how to vote

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raleigh Convergence is no longer publishing, as of April 1, 2022. Read more.

Tuesday is Election Day, Wake County voters. Here’s a quick guide to voting, Election Day 2020 and what to expect after you cast your ballot.

A mural outside of Centro in Downtown Raleigh.

How to vote Nov. 3 in Wake County: Find your Election Day polling place. Locations open at 6:30 a.m. and you must be in line before 7:30 p.m.

If you plan to vote absentee: You have options on Election Day.
📩 Through the mail: Mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day or before will be accepted until Nov. 12. Wake County Elections Board Member Gerry Cohen recommends getting your ballot hand postmarked in the post office if you’re sending it through the mail.
🏢 Hand-deliver your absentee ballot: You can hand-deliver your absentee ballot in person to the Wake County Board of Elections Operations office, 1200 N. New Hope Road in Raleigh, before 5 p.m. on Election Day (Nov. 3). Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Monday-Friday.

On the ballot: View a sample ballot, which for Raleigh residents includes a proposed affordable housing bond.

Decide who to vote for: Links to candidates’ websites and more guides can be found here. Judicial candidate profiles can be found here.

When will we see results?

We may not have a clear winner in close races on Election Night, even though we could see results from an estimated 97% of ballots, according to the state board of elections.

The results shared Election Night are still unofficial results. Those unofficial results will be posted here when available.

UPDATED: When we’ll start seeing results: Expect the first drop of results to be slightly later. Four voting sites opened late in other areas (none in Wake). Voting was extended by 45 minutes, and the first release of results will be after those sites close.

Previously, the first results were anticipated between 7:30-9 p.m. on Election Day. The first unofficial results would include in person early voting and absentee vote by mail ballots received by the board of elections by 5 p.m. Monday.

The next results will be from precincts with Election Day votes. Expect unofficial results to be continuously updated until all Election Day votes are in.

Wake County elections officials will next conduct the certification, or canvass, on Nov. 13. That will include absentee ballots that arrived after 5 p.m. Monday (Nov. 2) but by Nov. 12.

Votes by mail could factor in: It’s worth noting that registered Democrats are more likely to vote by mail and registered Republicans are more likely to vote on Election Day, according to Axios. The News & Observer also reports that a significantly higher number of registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters have requested an absentee ballot and haven’t voted in person.

What about recounts? Any recounts would happen between Nov. 13-24 in North Carolina.

When will results be official? The state will certify the results on Nov. 24.

What else to expect on Election Day: More context

There could be unrest after the outcome of the elections, no matter the results.

In Downtown Raleigh, many businesses are boarding up storefronts as a precautionary measure.

Boards up at the restaurant in Moore Square on Monday, Nov. 2.

The outcome of the presidential race could be felt locally with the response of the people to the election. President Donald Trump hasn’t committed to a peaceful transfer of power and is raising funds to fight the results to the U.S. Supreme Court, the New York Times reports.

North Carolina is also one of the key states for both major presidential candidates and the U.S. Senate race between Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham, so national media attention is likely to be on North Carolina should the votes be close.

Voter intimidation: Know your rights

  • You do NOT need a photo ID to vote in the 2020 general election in North Carolina.
  • No one can block your access to the voting site. That includes someone using their car to block access to a voting site’s parking lot or a person outside of the buffer zone ignoring requests to socially distance so that you may walk in.
  • If someone is harassing you, report it to a poll worker. Scalawag magazine, which has more resources to combat voter intimidation, recommends writing down or recording what’s happening outside the voting location.
  • A memo from the State Board of Elections has more details about what’s allowed and what’s not at the polls.

READ MORE: Your questions, answered, on Wake County elections.
SIGN UP FOR UPDATES: Our free newsletters will keep you updated on the results.

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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