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NC Early Voting Begins Today: What You Need to Know

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018   

RALEIGH, N.C. - Early-voting precincts are open today for people to cast their ballots in advance of the November election date. With constitutional amendments, U.S. House, state and local seats all up for grabs, interest is high in North Carolina and people are being urged to take advantage of the early-voting opportunity.

Tomas Lopez, executive director of Democracy NC, said there's one more reason to consider voting early.

"In case there's any kind of issue at all with your registration, it's a great idea to go during early voting, get it taken care of," he said. "You can also possibly help avoid some of the lines that we sometimes see on Election Day."

Unlike some neighboring states, early-voting precincts in North Carolina offer one-stop voting, where people can register and vote at the same time. You are not required to present a photo ID when voting, but may need to show proof of address, such as a utility bill, if it's your first time voting in the precinct. Early voting runs until Nov. 3.

While there is voter enthusiasm behind the midterms, some citizen-engagement advocates are concerned about voter fatigue from the supercharged and largely negative political climate. Lopez said even the act of not voting is making a choice - albeit with repercussions.

"When somebody says, 'Well, I'm not voting because I want to stay out of this whole thing,' the truth is, you're not staying out," he said. "There's a decision - and there are consequences that come from not voting, whatever your vote would have been."

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

North Carolina lawmakers passed a law this year mandating that all early-voting sites in the state maintain the same hours, which is making early voting more expensive in some cases and prompting counties to limit their hours in others. The North Carolina Board of Elections has an online database you can search to find early voting locations as well as hours. That and more is online at ncsbe.gov.


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