Early voting sees a brisk turnout

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The first ballots in the 2018 general election were cast yesterday as one-stop early voting began at locations in Washington, Belhaven, Chocowinity and Aurora.

According to Beaufort County Board of Elections Director Kellie Hopkins, the turnout was brisk.

“We’ve got 478 so far, and the room’s full,” Hopkins said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s been pretty steady; it’s been a pretty good turnout.”

Hopkins said the Board of Elections had experienced some small lines at different times during the day, but no one had more than a five-minute wait to vote. She said it’s typical of the first few days of early voting, as well as the last few days.

“We’re voting a lot but we’ve got four check-in stations going, so we’re processing them pretty quickly,” Hopkins said.

Outside, candidates for office greeted voters walking in to the Board of Elections.

Early voting runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, until Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, the last day of one-stop voting, hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Locations are as follows:

  • Beaufort County Board of Elections, 1308 Highland Drive, Suite 104, Washington
  • Aurora Community Building, 442 Third St., Aurora
  • John A. Wilkinson Center, 144 W. Main St., Belhaven
  • Chocowinity Fire Department, 512 N.C. Highway 33 East, Chocowinity

Through Nov. 3, voters are allowed to register and vote on the same day at their polling place.

In order to do so, residents must provide proof of residence by presenting a North Carolina driver’s license, a photo ID from a government agency or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document.

Early in-person voting is available in all 100 North Carolina counties. More than 300 locations statewide will be open through Nov. 3. As a result of new state law, early-voting sites are open nearly double the number of cumulative hours compared to four years ago, even as the number of early-voting sites declined by 17 percent, according to an Associated Press article.

According the Washington Daily News online poll, 48 percent of voters planned to vote during One-Stop voting; 43 percent plan to vote on Election Day. Another 9 percent said they don’t plan to vote at all.