Local News

North Carolinians Make No Excuses About Voting Early

Posted November 2, 2000

— Friday is the last chance to cast a ballot before Election Day. Thousands of people have already taken advantage of the new state law that allows them to vote early.

This has already been the busiest election season ever according to officials with theN.C. Board of Elections.

Officials estimate as many as 10 percent of registered voters in the state will go through the process before the end of the day. Elections workers have already put in thousands of hours working at polling sites.

Early voting has been a huge success in its first year, but it does not come without lessons learned.

"We were not prepared to have the numbers show up that have shown up to use One-Stop or No Excuse voting," says Gary Bartlett, State Board of Elections director.

As a result, many voters have had to stand in line for as long as two hours in order to cast their ballot early.

Elections officials say they hope to correct the problem by setting aside more money in four years. The money would help to increase the number of polling sites, beef up staffing and purchase more equipment.

Counties still using paper ballots also hope to go online to decrease the long hours employees had to put in this year.

Even with the long waits, voters seem to want to keep early voting around.

"The only difference now, than on Election Day, is it's convenient for the voter to come and vote at the time they wish to vote," says Bartlett.

The final numbers on early voters probably will not be available until Monday.

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