Local Politics

Halloween is the last day you can vote early in North Carolina

Posted October 30, 2020 7:27 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2020 6:50 a.m. EDT

— Saturday is the last day you can cast your ballot early in North Carolina. Polls open at 8 a.m. in Durham and Wake counties and close at 3 p.m. If you're still in line during closing time, you will be able to cast your vote.

It is also the last day you can register to vote in person. If you register to vote on Saturday, bring with you proof of where you live and a North Carolina driver's license or other government-issued photo ID. Only registered voters can vote on Election Day.

The benefit to voting early is that you can vote at any early voting site in your county. If there's a long line at one polling site near you, you can always drive to another one. But, on Nov. 3, you have to vote at your designated voting precinct. If instead you're planning on voting on Election Day, check your registration status online and see which voting precinct you will need to go to.

Anyone planning to mail in an absentee ballot to avoid the lines at polling sites needs to get the ballots in the mail as soon as possible. It won't be counted if it's not received or postmarked by Tuesday. More than 900,000 absentee ballots have been cast in North Carolina, according to data from the state board of elections.

NC poised to break voter record turnout

More than 58 percent of registered voters in North Carolina have already cast ballots in this year's elections, with a day of early voting and Election Day itself still to go. The state's record for voter turnout is 70 percent, set during the 2008 general election in which Barack Obama was first elected president.

To break that record, about 870,000 people need to vote across the state on Saturday or next Tuesday.

North Carolina came close to breaking the record four years ago, when more than 4.7 million people voted in the state. More than 4.2 million people have already voted in this election, either in-person at early voting sites or by mailing in absentee ballots.

Rosa Paschall, 77, registered and voted for the first time in her life in Wilson County, and she encouraged others to get out and have their voices heard.

“I feel like an American again, that I am just as special as everybody else is,” Paschall said. “You can’t say anything about things that’s going on if you didn’t go out and help the party you wanted.”

More than 60 percent of Wake County's registered voters have cast ballots, and state officials say the county has the five busiest early voting sites in North Carolina: Apex Community Center, Herbert C. Young Community Center in Cary and Abbott's Creek Community Center, Lake Lynn Community Center and Wake Technical Community College's North Campus, all in north Raleigh.

“I had been planning to vote on Election Day, and then I thought, ‘You know, I just don’t want to jam up,'" voter Julia Bryan said.

Bryan encouraged people to get informed about candidates and get to the ballot box.

"Whatever your viewpoint, you think these are very critical times, and you must vote," she said. "We’ve really got to show how democracy moves through challenges and unusual times, and I think we can with this election."

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