Longest lines at last two days of no-excuse voting

Published 7:44 am Sunday, November 2, 2008

By Staff
Beaufort County elections director surprised this year
Newsroom Manager
Apathy is a word Beaufort County Director of Elections Kellie Harris Hopkins has not heard during the 2008 election.
Many voters using the one-stop, no-excuse voting method stood in line for nearly a half-hour on Friday and Saturday to exercise their right to vote before Election Day, which is Tuesday.
In the not-too-distant-past, Election Day typically was the only time that voters, except absentee voters, were allowed to cast their ballots.
However, one-stop, no-excuse voting has taken on a new life during the 2008 election, Hopkins said.
The one-stop, no-excuse voting method allows voters to cast their ballots during a specified period before Election Day.
If Barack Obama is elected, he will be the first black president. If John McCain is elected, he will be the first president to have a female vice president.
The one-stop, no-excuse voting started Oct. 16 and finished Saturday. It ran at the elections office Monday through Friday during that time period. On Oct. 18 and Oct. 25, satellite polling places were held for the method in Aurora and Belhaven.
Hopkins said she is guessing this election might be setting a precedent.
Hopkins said there are 31,984 people registered to vote in Beaufort County.
At the close of one-stop, no-excuse voting on Saturday, Hopkins reported that 11,105 people had used the method to vote in this election.
When including absentee voters, Hopkins said that the Beaufort County Board of Elections office has received 11,888 ballots effective 5 p.m. Saturday.