Early voting is underway at 16 locations across Buncombe County for those voters who choose to vote in person ahead of the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. Early Voting through Oct. 30., will be held from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends. On Oct. 31, early voting locations will be open from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
What to bring:
- 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 will still be able to vote a provisional ballot and can bring one of the above documents to the Board of Elections prior to canvass.
- You are encouraged to bring a copy of a sample ballot to expedite the process. Find your sample ballot.
- A mask is strongly encouraged.
Persons who are not registered may also register and vote during early voting by utilizing same-day registration. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of where they live. A voter attests to their eligibility by completing and signing a North Carolina Voter Registration Application. The voter must prove their residence by showing any of the following documents with their current name and address:
- North Carolina driver’s license or other photo identification issued by a government agency. Any government-issued photo ID is acceptable, provided that the card includes the voter's current name and address.
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address.
- A current college/university photo identification card paired with proof of campus habitation.
Within two business days of the person’s registration, the Buncombe County Board of Elections will verify the registrant’s driver’s license or Social Security number, update the voter registration database, search for possible duplicate registrations, and begin to verify the registrant’s address by mail. The registrant’s ballot will be counted unless the Buncombe County Board of Elections determines they are not qualified to vote that ballot.
“We are so excited to begin in-person voting, and our staff has been working diligently to make sure that voters have a positive and safe experience at the polls,” said Director of Election Services Corinne Duncan. “We’ve already seen unprecedented numbers in absentee voting, and we expect early voting to be a popular choice, too.” With Buncombe County’s beautiful fall weather and the addition of new locations to support social distancing, voters can expect a healthy experience at the polls.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the following safety precautions will be taken at early voting locations:
- 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 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.
- “I Voted” stickers will not be given out this election. This is to reduce as many opportunities for transmission as possible.
- Curbside voters will use disposable privacy sleeves.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
As mandated by state and federal law for all elections, 50-foot buffer zones will be enforced, and voting enclosures will be protected to prevent voter intimidation. Full guidelines for conduct at the polls can be found in Numbered Memo 2020-30 from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
Out of an abundance of caution, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller is ensuring deputies are prepared to assist as needed at polling locations; however, law enforcement will not be present at early voting locations unless called. “I want to be clear that we have not received any reports of planned disruptions,” he said. “Our right to vote is vital, and the Sheriff’s Office is working closely with Election Services to ensure that our community members, regardless of their political party, can safely cast a vote.”
During early voting, absentee ballots may be returned at any of the 16 early voting locations; however, voters must wait in the early voting lines. To view wait times, go to www.buncombecounty.org/vote. Absentee ballots also can be returned to the Election Services Office at 77 McDowell St., Asheville between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If voters choose to mail absentee ballots, they must be postmarked by Nov. 3, 2020. In addition, requests for absentee ballots must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27; however, to accommodate record requests, Election Services recommends submitting absentee ballot requests by Oct. 20. The current processing time for absentee ballot requests is three days.
The early voting locations are:
- Asheville Mall, 3 S. Tunnel Road, Asheville
- Asheville Outlet Mall, 800 Brevard Road, #250, Asheville
- Bee Tree Fire Department, 510 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa
- Black Mountain Library, 105 N. Dougherty St., Black Mountain
- Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Center, 285 Livingston St., Asheville
- Enka-Candler Library, 1404 Sand Hill Road, Candler
- Fairview Community Center, 1357 Charlotte Highway, Fairview
- Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville, 87 Haywood St., Asheville (formerly the Asheville Civic Center)
- Land of Sky Regional Council, 339 New Leicester Hwy, #140, Asheville
- Leicester Community Center, 2979 New Leicester Highway, Leicester
- Reynolds Village, 50 N. Merrimon Ave., #107, Asheville
- South Buncombe Library, 260 Overlook Road, Asheville
- Turtle Creek Shopping Center, 23 Turtle Creek Drive, Asheville
- UNC-Asheville Campus, 1 University Heights, Highsmith Student Union, Asheville
- West Asheville Community Center, 970 Haywood Road, Asheville
- Weaverville Town Hall, 30 S. Main St., Weaverville
Download the Early Voting schedule. For more election-related information, go to www.buncombecounty.org/vote.