JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The November midterms are only two months away and people are able to get a head start and request absentee ballots now.

Both Onslow and Craven counties say since the pandemic, absentee ballots have been a more popular way to vote. Since September 9, people in eastern North Carolina are already exercising that right. Over at the Craven County Board of Elections Office, Interim Director Carole Dempsey is already processing absentee requests.

“A lot of people do prefer to get the absentee ballot request,” she said. “We’ve already got 600 of them.”

Onslow County is also seeing the same.

“So far, we’ve had at least 500 absentee by mail requests,” said Jason Dedmond, elections director for Onslow County Board of Elections.

People have until November 1 to request an absentee ballot, either online or at your county’s Board of Elections office. Once you’ve done that, you can track its status online through the state’s Board of Elections website on BallotTrax.

“You can track your absentee ballot as it’s going through the process, so it is safe and secure,” said Dedmond.

If you are planning to vote in person, early voting begins October 20 and ends November 5. 

“If you’d like to vote early, or if you’re not registered to vote, during One-Stop hours we have same-day registration so you can come in, register, and vote,” said Dempsey.

The last day to register to vote is October 14, unless you’re planning to do one-stop early voting. Both counties add they’re always looking for people to work the polls and if people are interested to please reach out. 

This year’s ballots will include spots for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and North Carolina General Assembly, along with county positions.

Whether it’s absentee, early voting, or at the polls on election day, all votes must be cast by 7:30 p.m. on November 8.