If you thought the presidential candidates had plenty of time to convince voters, think again.
The swing state of North Carolina is set to start mailing out absentee ballots on Friday, September 4.
That means voters will be able to return their ballots as early as next week.
RECORD NUMBERS VOTING EARLY
North Carolina is seeing a record number of absentee ballots because of the pandemic.
In 2016. around 200,000 absentee ballots were counted. Already in 2020, the state has received around 600,000 requests.
"It’s been kinda tough but we are trying to get through it," Kristen Scott, the elections director in Halifax, North Carolina, said.
Scott only has a staff of three. In 2016, her staff received 200 absentee ballot requests. This year they have already received 2,000 and it's only early September.
"I do go ahead and tell voters once you get your ballot, it's best to complete it and send it back in," Scott said.
NORTH CAROLINA TEST CASE
What happens next in North Carolina will be an example for other states around the country.
Will voters return their ballot right away? Will they wait until the first debate?
Additionally, will voters be able to follow all of the directions?
For instance, in North Carolina, all absentee ballots must have a valid witness signature.
During a pandemic will voters be able to find a witness? If it's not there, the ballot will be rejected.
"In the primary, we saw about 15 percent of absentee ballots rejected," Allison Griggs with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said.
Griggs fears the election could depend on whether voters follow directions or not.
In North Carolina, election officials are allowed to contact voters if they find an error with their ballot prior to the polls closing.
Griggs advises all Americans to be on the lookout for phone calls from election officials just in case.
"We need voters to keep an eye out for communications from their county election officials," Griggs said.
To find out when your state may send out absentee ballots, click here.
THREAD. On Friday, absentee ballots begin to be mailed out in North Carolina. Here are some differences between that state and let's say, Colorado, which has been voting by mail for years.
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) September 1, 2020