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Nash sees steep climb in absentee ballot requests

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NASHVILLE — Nash County voters are asking for absentee ballots at a rate of 3 to 1 over any other time in recent history.

As of Friday, the Nash County Board of Elections had received 4,484 absentee ballot requests, said Elections Director John Kearney.

“The most I remember we have ever had is 1,500, so we are a lot busier with absentee ballots,” Kearney said.

The logistical issues of preparing for an election with social distancing requirements is also keeping election officials busy.

“All polling places will have 6-foot social distancing in place,” Kearney said. “The social distancing will limit the number of voters allowed in the voting enclosure at a time, so this may create lines.”

As far as election security goes, absentee ballots remain in sealed absentee envelopes until the Board of Elections approves them. 

During the counting process, the ballot is removed from the envelope and fed into the tabulator. Ballots are secret by law and no one will know how someone voted.

Citizens’ method of voting is public record in North Carolina, and a list of voters who requested absentee ballots can be viewed after Election Day once ballots are returned and counted.

If someone votes via absentee ballot and then tries to vote again in person, the check-in system will alert poll workers that the person has already voted.

Kearney said anyone with questions particular to the 2020 general election can visit www.NashVotes2020.com.