Special call for Granville County residents –
North Carolinians who live in nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, or adult care homes have the right to vote but may need to do so by mail-in absentee ballot. These residents can request help from their county’s Multi-partisan Assistance Team (MAT), a group of persons appointed by the local county board of elections. MATs can help voters in facilities who have disabilities or who otherwise need assistance in registering to vote and requesting or casting a mail-in absentee ballot, but who do not have a family member or guardian available to help. It is a felony for the owner, manager, director, or employee of facilities to assist residents with mail-in absentee voting.
“The team members provide a public service to these voters by giving them lawfully authorized, neutral assistance with the absentee voting process,” shared Kenya Myers, voting advocate for Disability Rights North Carolina. “Residents should contact the activity coordinator of the facility, the owner or manager, or if needed, their county’s board of elections to ask for a MAT visit. If they are denied, they should contact us at DRNC at email@example.com or 1-888-WEVOTE2.”
Tonya Burnette, director of elections for Granville County, shared that they “desperately need MAT workers” and encouraged Granville County registered voters to contact her directly at 919-693-2515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. “We have already had requests from several facilities and nursing homes and expect more. They are willing to work with us on evenings and weekends if needed. We just need to find people willing to help.” Burnette also shared that Granville County, unlike in the past, now has funding to pay MAT workers. She offers the required 2-hour training remotely through Zoom.
Safety guidance including the use of PPE and social distancing when possible for MAT visits during COVID-19 is provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and outdoor visitations are encouraged if possible.
Registered voters in any county can contact their local board of elections to find out more about MAT opportunities in their area.