Election Countdown Tip Week 3: Vote Early!

Starting Thursday, October 20, and up until 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 5, you can vote early and register at the same time, at any of the 12 One-Stop Early Voting sites in Buncombe County. On Election Day, you can only vote at your own precinct — and only if you’re already registered.

So WHY Vote Early?

  1. So you know it’s DONE, and nothing unforeseen can get in your way on Election Day.
  2. One-stop early voting is the most convenient way to vote. Register and vote at the same time, at a convenient site that’s close to where you work, pick up the kids from school, or run errands. During Early Voting, you can CHOOSE where to vote. On Election Day, you must vote at your designated polling place.
  3. It REALLY helps the candidates you support. How? A huge part of campaigning is getting out the vote (GOTV). That means calling and knocking on the doors of a long list of people who haven’t voted yet. It’s time consuming and very expensive. As soon as you vote, your name comes off that list. Your candidates’ volunteers don’t have to Get Out Your Vote. So vote the first day you can!
  4. Voting early leaves you free to help out on Election Day! Sign up to be a poll greeter, participate in Vote Tripling, or offer to drive friends and neighbors to the polls.
  5. But MOST important, every person who votes early is one less person in line on November 8. Spreading voters out over nearly three weeks makes voting easier on everyone—but only if a lot of us do vote early. And, by shrinking the Election Day crowds, voting early lowers the risk of spreading Covid-19.

HOW Do I Vote Early?

First, find out if you’re registered at your current address here. If not, and if you have resided in Buncombe County for 30 days, you can register and then vote early on the same day. You must bring ONE of the following with you to prove your residence: (1) North Carolina driver’s license; (2) other government-issued photo ID with your address on it; (3) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address; or (4) a current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation.

While there is no mask mandate in North Carolina, the State Board of Elections strongly encourages voters to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and follow social distancing guidelines at the polling place.

The NC BOE also recommends that you review your candidates, mark up your sample ballot, and bring it with you to spend less time in the polling booth and minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19. Last week’s Countdown Tip 4: Get to Know the Candidates provides info on this.

 WHERE Can I Vote Early?

Vote at any of the 12 One-Stop Early Voting sites in Buncombe County. You can download the complete Early Voting Schedule here, with a map, locations and hours.

WHERE are the Shortest Lines?

During scheduled early voting sessions, Buncombe County Election Services will provide a map of voting sites showing how many people are in line at any location. Get up-to-date counts at the Buncombe County Early Voting page.

Previous Countdown Tips

Week 4 Countdown: Meet the Candidates. Find out who’s on your ballot!
Week 5 Countdown: Sign Up to Send Letters to Neighbors. Sign up NOW to deliver letters close to the election.
Week 6 Countdown: Make a Plan to Vote. Now’s a good time to review your plan — and reach out to three friends to help them plan to vote!
Week 7 Countdown: Sign Up to Be a Poll Worker. Power the polls!