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NC election officials say a huge number of people are choosing to vote by mail in the midterm

In this 2020 file photo, an election worker sorts vote-by-mail ballots at the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections in Doral, Fla. Florida is one of about half of U.S. states that have ballot curing provisions.
Lynne Sladky
/
AP
In this 2020 file photo, an election worker sorts vote-by-mail ballots at the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections in Doral, Fla. Florida is one of about half of U.S. states that have ballot curing provisions.

A surge of North Carolina voters is choosing to vote by mail ahead of next month’s election.

More than 22,000 people have already mailed or turned-in absentee ballots across the state. That’s more than 18 times as many as were turned in at this time in the 2018 midterm election.

State elections director Karen Brinson-Bell says some counties have even had trouble finding enough paper to keep up with absentee ballot requests.

“We did see a little bit of a crunch trying to find printers who we could outsource that printing demand for so that we would have the materials we need,” she said.

She says an unprecedented number of North Carolina voters chose to vote by mail in the 2020 election, amid fears of COVID-19. She thinks many of those voters are continuing to vote by mail out of convenience.

Any voter in North Carolina can vote by mail by requesting an absentee ballot from the state website, and returning the ballot with two witness signatures, or one signature from a notary public.