Throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buncombe County Board of Elections in collaboration with the NC State Board of Elections is committed to providing safe and accessible elections for voters.
After reviewing guidance from the CDC, the NC State Board of Elections has determined it is necessary for poll workers and early voting workers to wear PPE in order to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Note: Voters will be encouraged to wear face coverings and they will be available to any voter who wants one. However, voters will not be turned away if they choose not to wear a face covering.
The following are the safety precautions that will be taken at early voting and polling locations:
- Poll workers: Poll workers will wear proper face coverings and gloves, use hand sanitizer, adhere to sanitation guidelines of hand washing, and will be provided disinfecting wipes for high touch surfaces. Clear desktop shields will also protect each check-in station.
- Voters: Voters will be offered masks and hand sanitizer upon arrival. Greeters will hand out single-use pens for filling out ballots, and cotton swabs will be available for touch-screen equipment if needed.
- No “I Voted” Stickers: “I Voted” stickers will not be given out this election. This is to reduce as many opportunities for transmission as possible.
- Curbside Voters: Curbside voters will use disposable privacy sleeves.
- Social Distancing: Polling sites will provide markers to help voters stay at least six feet apart from each other. The distance between voting booths and equipment will also be increased to account for social distancing wherever possible. Voters are encouraged to maintain social distancing from other individuals.
- Voting Equipment: All surfaces touched by voters or poll workers will be sanitized between each use. Voting booths and equipment touched by a user will be cleaned between each voter.
- Screening: Voters will not be screened for fever or other symptoms and will not be turned away. Poll workers and early voting workers will self-screen for symptoms or exposures and report to County Elections if they are unable to work because of symptoms.
For more details, view the attached document featuring guidance from the State Board of Elections.
10 Facts About Election Security in North Carolina
In addition to safety procedures North Carolina elections officials are on the frontline, working to protect the integrity of all elections and ensuring our right to vote.
- No evidence of successful attack: North Carolina elections officials have no evidence that any election system or voting system in the state has ever been the target of a successful cyber-attack.
- Partnerships: Elections officials are in regular contact and have strong and growing relationships with partners in federal and state governments, who assist with cyber and physical security, share information, plan for election events and respond to incidents.
- Paper ballots: Under state law, all voting systems used in North Carolina must use paper ballots, producing a paper trail that can be audited. In 2020, all 100 counties will use paper ballots. By federal law, ballot marking devices must be available at every polling place for any voter who needs or wishes to use one to mark a ballot.
- Certified voting systems: All voting machines used in North Carolina are certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission after testing by certified laboratories. They are also certified by the State Board of Elections after additional testing, and all systems certified in North Carolina are certified, used and audited in other states.
- No internet: By state law, voting machines may not be connected to the internet, limiting the possibility of cyber interference.
- Logic and accuracy testing: Before every election, county boards of elections conduct logic and accuracy tests on every machine that will be used, to ensure proper coding of ballots and counting of votes for every contest on the ballot.
- Bipartisan, trained officials: Every polling place is staffed with bipartisan, trained officials from the local community who take an oath to uphold state elections laws and work together to ensure election security. Bipartisan State and County Boards of Elections oversee all aspects of elections.
- Audits: After every election and before results are certified, the State and County Boards of Elections conduct audits designed to detect irregularities, such as equipment tampering, ballot stuffing and voting machine or tabulation errors.
- Investigation division: North Carolina is one of few states with dedicated Investigations Division, which investigates reports of fraud and other irregularities and refers cases to prosecutors when warranted by evidence.
- Informed voters: Every voter can help promote election security by voting, checking their ballot before casting it, reporting problems with the voting process to poll workers and volunteering to work in elections. Also, voters should get information on elections from trusted sources, particularly elections officials, and verify information about elections before sharing it on social media.
Election Services is still currently looking for poll workers for Early Voting and Election Day.
For more information about voting by mail, Early Voting, Election Day, or future elections, please visit buncombecounty.org/vote.