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Wake early voting numbers up despite fewer polling places

Posted October 24

— Wake County voters cast more ballots during the first four days of early voting than during the same period four years ago, despite having fewer "one stop" locations available.

The 38,259 ballots cast and accepted Thursday through Sunday marks a 9 percent jump from the last presidential election year.

Early voting site Voting early: Times, days, locations Decision 2016 graphic Q&A: Voting in election 2016 That bucks a statewide trend that saw a slight dip in early voting totals. But Wake County's gains would have likely been impossible if the the State Board of Elections had not ordered the county to expand from a plan that would have offered only a single location during the first seven days of early voting.

"It just logistically would not have been possible," said Mark Ezzell, a Democratic member of the Wake County Board of Elections.


First 4 days of 2016 early voting in Wake County

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During the same period four years ago, Wake County opened 16 one-stop early voting locations. Nine locations opened across the county last Thursday, meaning more people had to filter through fewer locations during the opening days of early voting, which contributed to periodic long lines at some polling sites.

But the waits that some encountered, Ezzell said, would have been turned into "gridlock" in downtown Raleigh had the single-location plan been pursued.

Eleven more early voting locations will open up in Wake County this Thursday, which Ezzell said should relieve some of the pressure on the current early voting locations.

Across the state, 408,905 people cast early votes, compared to 412,765 during the same period four years ago.


First 4 days of 2016 early voting statewide

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9 Comments

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  • Aiden Audric Oct 25, 11:20 a.m.
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    You neglected the part of the appeals court's decision that gave NC's counties the power to set new early voting schedules. After several attempts to try to eliminate Sunday early voting and reduce total voting hours per county, they came up with a plan that Democrats still didn't like. When it comes to early voting, it isn't by the Democrats' rules.

  • Carl Keehn Oct 25, 10:31 a.m.
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    I voted in the primary. I was the third person in line at a not very busy time. It took me over half an hour to get a ballot and vote. How long will I have to wait for the general election?

  • Catherine Edwards Oct 25, 9:25 a.m.
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    Justa Man - not quite right. Wake county was allowed to change up early voting sites and hours. See below your quote. Oh yeah all those voting laws the republicans tried to impose were ruled unconstitutional. So that's why the Democrats get to set the rules.

    Hey John, apparently you don't keep up with current events. None of the changes to our voter laws that affect times, and polling places have taken effect. We are still operating under democrats' rules.

    North Carolina's one-stop period opens on Oct. 20 and closes Nov. 5. Different counties will have different early voting schedules and open different early voting locations.

    The State Board of Elections had to to sign off on local early voting plans when county boards could not come to a consensus.

    Read more at http://www.wral.com/q-a-voting-in-election-2016/15979100/#R3LUb5TXFVCGH2re.99

  • Justa Mann Oct 25, 7:14 a.m.
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    Hey John, apparently you don't keep up with current events. None of the changes to our voter laws that affect times, and polling places have taken effect. We are still operating under democrats' rules.

  • John Townsend Oct 25, 6:49 a.m.
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    Vote on Election Day. No lines. I did early voting one time years ago and vowed never again to subject myself to the lines. I'll do absentee voting before I do early voting again.

  • Jamie France Oct 24, 8:26 p.m.
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    Wow - it's almost like the people in charge are trying to discourage people from voting in large numbers. hmmm, which party is it that's in charge again?

  • John Midyette Oct 24, 7:52 p.m.
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    Today I spent two hours in line at Lake Lynn. I want to tell our Republican Legislators and local Election Board how much I appreciate their attempts to change the early voting system; a system which has worked very well in past elections (I usually only had a very short wait time).

    Your attempt to game the system into your favor has caused me great frustration and inconvenience. I hope that others experiencing this type of treatment by you will join together to throw you out of office (vote against you). There was absolutely no reason, other than partisan politics, to subject the citizens of NC to this treatment.

    Everyone, let your legislators and other elected officials know exactly how you feel about this.

  • Jim Halbert Oct 24, 5:37 p.m.
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    na.

  • Jeffrey Derry Oct 24, 5:25 p.m.
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    Vote Trump-Pence