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Early voting off to fast start in NC

Posted October 23, 2014

— Registered voters who can't wait until Election Day to decide on U.S. Senate and down-ballot races now have the opportunity to vote in person across North Carolina.

The 10-day early voting period began Thursday morning in all 100 counties. It runs through midday Nov. 1. Some counties also are offering Sunday voting this weekend.

At the Wake County Board of Elections office in downtown Raleigh, about 100 people an hour were casting early ballots.

"Lines have been long everywhere, but the line has been moving," said Brian Pypiak, an early-voting supervisor in Wake County. "We've had a lot of happy voters out there, which is always good to see."

Mary Meletiou, who cast an early ballot in Raleigh with her husband on Thursday morning.

"I think the convenience of early voting is wonderful," Meletiou said. "I also like the idea that my vote gets counted early."

"I don't have enough time to be a procrastinator. I work full time, I'm in school, so yes, (early voting) is a must," Trici'a Simmons said. "This is a priority. It is a privilege as well, but it's definitely a priority."

Various changes are in effect this year following the adoption of an elections law by state legislators last year.

There is no longer same-day registration during early voting. There was an Oct. 10 deadline to register.

Straight-ticket voting is no longer allowed. Voters this fall are choosing legislators, judges and local leaders.

The early voting period has been cut from 17 to 10 days, although many sites are staying open later so the same number of hours are available for early voting as in past elections.

"We find that the hours of 11 (a.m.) to 7 (p.m.) at our satellite sites give the voters the most opportunity to vote," Pypiak said. "That way, you can get a little bit of the morning, definitely for the lunch rush and then a few hours after work."

Mail-in absentee ballots can still be requested, but they must be turned in or postmarked by Election Day.

Also, poll workers will ask each voter if he or she has a valid photo ID and will provide information for how to get one to people who don't. Photo identification isn't needed in this election but will be required as of 2016.

Candidates and groups are using early voting's first day to draw attention to election contests and issues. The North Carolina Association of Educators and a group of black pastors scheduled separate events.

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  • Grand Union Oct 24, 2014

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    Republicans like a bit of oppressing folks...just so long as its not White Males that are the ones being oppressed.

  • TruDat Oct 24, 2014

    Will Thom Tillis pay a price for wasting state taxpayer money to keep oppressing gay North Carolina citizens in defiance of multiple court rulings?

  • Grand Union Oct 24, 2014

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    LOL yeah and I have a bridge to sell you.....
    Does it not occur to you that anyone smart enough to hack the code on a voting machine would make it look like it you voted for who you intended, but simply recorded the opposite?

  • Carl Keehn Oct 24, 2014
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    Yes voter fraud is rampant. Boards of Election are working to deny people the legal right to vote.

  • Michael Hart Oct 24, 2014
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    they fail to produce a link to the story, but the last line is what they are trying to ignore...http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/22/4254709_dmv-review-finds-145-ineligible.html?rh=1

  • miseem Oct 24, 2014

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    You mean the tape from James O'Keefe? The master of selective editing and staged taping? When he starts showing all of his tapes instead of I'll start believing him. Like Nixon, with his missing 18 minutes, O'Keefe clips sections in the middle of a conversation, then picks it up again. Hiding something? And reported by the Washington Times, that bastion of accurate, unbiased reporting? Although the "liberal" media has hidden this, O'Keefe's reporting is about as accurate as the claims that Obama is an American citizen. And this report has nothing to do with elections in NC. We do not do mail in ballots like Colorado. But we have had GOP Poll watchers accused of voter intimidation and illegal practices. Since the pool of poll watchers has widened, we may face some of the problems described in this article about Wisconsin. http://thinkprogress.org/election/2014/10/19/3581575/with-id-law-on-hold-wisconsin-republicans-vow-to-challenge-vot

  • miseem Oct 23, 2014

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    And what does that have to do with the laws in NC? There have been claims of more subtle, but just as effective voter intimidation by GOP poll watchers in NC in 2010. Even the GOP leadership admits that some of the tactics used were a little too "enthusiastic". So cherry pick away in examples years ago in other states. I can find similar situations occurring more recently in this state. And after the election in November, I'm sure there will be more.

  • miseem Oct 23, 2014

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    So what you are saying is it's OK to keep 100,000 people from voting and make it harder for another 100,000 people to vote to keep 1 person from voting illegally. Unless it's by absentee ballot that reqires no ID. Then it's OK.

  • miseem Oct 23, 2014

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    Is that fraud or a voting machine glitch? Most of the companies that provide voting machines and software are owned by GOP donors. But in past elections, they have at least been bipartisan in their goof ups.

  • Fred Holt Oct 23, 2014
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    All the right wing talk about alleged "voter fraud" is a great smokescreen for their real agenda - which is to win, even if they have fewer supporters and voters. In 2012, NC Democrats in US house races got 50.6 percent, to the GOP's 48.75 percent. In terms of seats, that translates into 9 GOP reps, and 4 Democrats. Where is your fraud now? Thom Tillis was a leader in perpetrating this redistricting fraud. Thom Tillis doesn't believe in democracy, he believes in power at any cost.

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