Years ago, when a person voted absentee, they were required to have their absentee ballot envelope notarized. There was a definite need at that time for absentee voting, as this was before early voting was even a dream. Individuals in the military, off at college, confined to a hospital or facility, or simply out of town on the job on election day utilized this to be able to vote in the election.
Time went by and things changed. Today we have early voting as a means of casting our votes. Early voting started April 27. However, there are still those individuals who will need to vote by absentee ballot, and they will probably be in similar circumstances as listed above. We are fortunate today to have several avenues available to us in order to cast our ballot for the candidate(s) of our choice.
In your 2016 Notary Public Manual on Page 66-68 you will find instructions on how to assist a voter with an absentee ballot. They may select two witnesses or they may seek the services of one notary public. While the sample ballot envelope in your manual may be a little dated, I am attaching a copy of the current one.
From your manual, you will see on Page 66 the procedure for the Notary Public to assist the voter. The list continues on Page 68 and also provides a procedure by which the notary may assist the voter in marking his/her ballot.
Crystal Gilliard, Vice President of NCNA was able to interview Kristin Jacumin, Union County Board of Elections Director, prior to the 2022 NCNA conference in Clemmons in March. Ms. Jacumin was kind enough to provide Ms. Gilliard with a sample envelope for discussion at the conference.
If you will look at the side of the envelope, you will see restrictions against certain parties who will not be able to serve as a witness or a notary. Please review those restrictions to see if it excludes you from notarizing for the voter. Additional directions or reminders are available in this section as well.
Ms. Jacumin told us that absentee ballots were available on March 28. If you have a problem or question regarding the notarization of an absentee ballot, a good source of information would be your local Board of Elections. Also please remember that NC general statutes prohibits a notary from charging to notarize an absentee ballot.