Well-intentioned groups causing confusion, worry among local voters, elections director says

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

SALISBURY — A national nonprofit group trying to increase voter registration and participation may be doing more harm than good with its automated mailings, according to Rowan County Elections Director Nancy Evans.

The mailings, sent by the Voter Participation Center and including absentee ballot request forms, are being mistaken for unsolicited ballots and causing concern about voter fraud, she said.

But Evans said the ballot request forms are legitimate. They can be used to request that a ballot be mailed to your home — if they are correctly filled out and returned to the Rowan County Board of Elections by Oct. 30.

The forms can be mailed to the Rowan County Board of Elections at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Suite D-10, Salisbury, NC 28147. They can also be scanned and emailed to rowan.boe@ncsbe.gov or faxed to 704-216-8145.

Evans said voters should be wary of unsolicited phone calls from people who claim to be with the Rowan County Board of Elections.

“There are a lot of groups out there that maybe they feel like they’re doing a good thing,” she said. “But sometimes they can confuse people more by calling and not getting the voter to understand what they’re calling for.”

Election workers will call only to verify information on already completed forms and will never solicit personal identifying information over the phone, she said.

Most often, such information will be requested by mail, as forms do not often contain phone numbers, she said.

The best way to avoid a phone call or follow-up request is to make sure forms are filled out in legible print, Evans said.

Register to vote

Still need to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election? Register in person or for an absentee ballot by Oct. 12.

You may also register and vote at one-stop, early-voting sites between Oct. 17 and Nov. 3. Early voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday during that period.

Early voting will also be available from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Early voting in Rowan County is at three sites:

• Rowan County Board of Elections Office, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Suite D-10, Salisbury.

• Rockwell American Legion, 8580 U.S. 52 E., Rockwell.

• Rowan Public Library South Branch, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove.