State board: Ballots marked by poll workers valid

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Abi Pepin, Senior Political Correspondant

Rumors spreading on social media about ballots being invalid if written on by election workers are untrue in North Carolina. The State Board addressed the rumors Thursday stating that if a ballot is marked by a poll worker it is still valid. 

Election workers write an identifying number on all absentee ballots and one-stop ballots that are assigned to each ballot and voter, according to the state board. 

The assigned numbers allow the ballots to be retrieved if there is a challenge. For example, if the voter dies before Election Day or if someone double votes or in the event of a successful election protest.

In certain counties, the voter’s precinct must be written on the ballot so absentee ballots and one-stop ballots can be sorted into the correct precincts after the election for data purposes.

However, Election Day ballots can not be retrieved unless they are provisional ballots which are marked with a “P.”

Early voting in North Carolina started  Oct. 15. In Watauga County, the six early voting sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. during the week.

The first two Saturdays, early voting sites will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. On Oct. 31, the last day of early voting, the early voting sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Here are the voting sites in Watauga County:

  • App State – Plemmons Student Union – Blue Ridge Ballroom
  • Blowing Rock Town Hall
  • Deep Gap Fire Department
  • High Country Vacation Homes (Foscoe)
  • Western Watauga Community Center
  • Watauga County Administration Building, Commissioners’ Board Room