Throngs of early voters overwhelm Wake polling sites

Posted October 26, 2016

— Twelve percent of the 6.8 million registered voters in North Carolina have already cast ballots in the first week of early voting.

Wake County opened nine polling places last Thursday, and they have been packed ever since. Four have seen more than 9,000 voters apiece, and more people cast ballots Tuesday than on the opening day, which is traditionally one of the busier times for early voting.

The turnout, which county elections officials called "anomalous," has led to much longer lines than some people expected.

"I've been here three times to vote, and the line was really long," said Marshall Thorpe, who was waiting outside the Lake Lynn Community Center on Wednesday. "So, I said, 'I'm going to go on and stand in line today.' I think voting's important. We need to do it."

The wait to vote was more than an hour at the north Raleigh polling site, and the parking lot was jammed. Many voters just parked along a half-mile stretch of Lynn Road and hiked up the hill to stand in line.

Hanna Planer drove back from Appalachian State University in Boone to cast her vote in Raleigh, where she's registered, and her grandmother warned her of long lines.

"She told me it would be about an hour or two hours, and I figured she just went at a bad time," Planer said. "I can't say I'm unimpressed, though. I'm happy. I'd rather there be longer lines with everyone voting than the opposite."

To date in Wake County, black voters are turning out for early voting at a high rate. They make up one out of five registered voters in the county but one out of every four early voters so far.

Women voters have an even bigger edge. They outnumber men in Wake County by about 15 percent, but their turnout in early voting so far is double that margin.

"What I want is the magic button that turns off all the ads as soon as I vote. You got one of those?" Kathy Auman said with a laugh as she waited in line.

Young voters, especially those under 25, aren't turning out as much.

Planer said many of her friends probably won't bother to vote.

"I don't think they understand that, whatever happens at this election, it's not like a one-time thing. It's going to be a continuation for the next four years of our life, you know?" Planer said.

Wake County elections officials will open 11 more early voting sites on Thursday, and all 20 will be open until Nov. 5.


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  • Catherine Edwards Oct 27, 2016
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    Lake Lynn Community Center is on Ray Road in case you want to find it. Not Lynn Road.

    I live up the street from this location. It is dangerous with all the cars lining the road. It's also hard to see well to get out of parking lot. I saw someone pull out right in front another car and myself. So, please be patient there.

    I had a friend vote there this year. She said a fight almost broke out. I had another friend vote there 4 years ago, and said some people were trying to pick a fight with him. He's going to go to his precinct location and hope for less unruly people and shorter lines there.

  • Judy Loftin Oct 27, 2016
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    I voted early. Couldn't wait to vote for Trump and McCrory! The line was long and full of Trump supporters.

  • Carl Keehn Oct 27, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Project Veritas? Proof?


  • Jeffrey Derry Oct 26, 2016
    user avatar

    And they are voting Trump. We want our country back. Clinton is a crook.

  • Linda Levine Oct 26, 2016
    user avatar

    I am glad to see lines for voting. People need to be involved in the process. It was sad that they decided to post signs at the Green Rd location earlier today promoting it as a voting site but it doesn't open there until tomorrow. It was not a wise decision.

  • Paul Stroud Oct 26, 2016
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  • Aiden Audric Oct 26, 2016
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    I tried to go to the Lake Lynn location 3 times. I couldn't get into the parking lot - officers were guiding people to keep on driving.

    I'm surprised no one has been run over - that "half-mile hike up the hill" is on a road with no sidewalks and a 45 mph speed limit.

    I'm hoping that when the other locations open, it's easier and safer to vote, and that those who were giving voting a second thought do their homework and cast their ballot.

  • Sean Chen Oct 26, 2016
    user avatar

    Know what you're voting FOR.

    PROOF of election fraud.