04/25/14 — Ballots cast on first day of early voting

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Ballots cast on first day of early voting

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 25, 2014 1:46 PM

Nearly 200 people voted in Wayne County on Thursday during the first day of one-stop early voting for the May 6 primary.

Of the 197 votes cast, 177 were at the Board of Elections Office at 209 S. William St., and the other 20 were at First Congregation Church, 215 Sleepy Creek Road, in Dudley.

One-stop voting will continue today and Monday through Saturday, May 3.

The hours at the Board of Elections office are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., except May 3, when they will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The hours at First Congregational Church will be noon until 6 p.m., except May 3, when they will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Because of changes in state law, same-day registration is no longer allowed, nor is straight-ticket voting.

Voters are being reminded as well that starting in 2016 they will be required to provide acceptable photo ID when they go to the polls.

"The state provided a script for poll workers to use in advising voters about 2016," said Beverly York, Wayne County Board of Elections deputy director.

There are no county-level races on the ballot -- most are state or national.

However, of interest to voters inside the Goldsboro city limits is an $18.9 million park s and recreation bond referendum.

Of the 197 ballots cast Thursday, 123 were by Goldsboro residents who were eligible to vote on the referendum.

Sample ballots for the May 6 primary are available on the Wayne County Board of Elections' website.

To reach the website, go to www.waynegov.com and under Dept. (A-H) select Board of Elections. Links to the sample ballots and absentee ballot request forms are there.

Tuesday is the final day to request an absentee ballot and Monday, May 5 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to return them.

The polls will be open Tuesday, May 6 from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Across the state, thousands of people went to the polls Thursday.

The early voting period is different from recent years because the General Assembly passed a law in 2013 reducing the number of early voting days from 17 to 10.

The law also ended same-day registration -- meaning citizens can no longer register to vote at any of the 289 early voting sites statewide and cast ballots at the same time. So anyone who wanted to vote needed to register by April 11.

People won't be required to show photo identification to vote in person until 2016, if the requirement is upheld by the courts. For now, workers at early voting centers and at precincts on primary day will ask voters if they have a qualifying ID. A voter who doesn't will be asked to sign an acknowledgment of the ID requirements and get information on how to obtain a photo ID, in some cases for free.

The law required counties to offer at least the same number of cumulative hours for people to vote ahead of election day as for the 2010 primary. But 38 counties, many of them smaller and rural, were granted exceptions to provide fewer hours, according to data from the State Board of Elections. Exceptions required unanimous approval by members of the county board and State Board of Elections.

The other counties offered the same number of hours or more hours compared with 2010. Overall, the 100 counties are offering 1.3 percent fewer cumulative hours to vote compared with the 2010 primary, the state elections board said.

Voters are casting ballots for U.S. Senate, Congress, the legislature, court posts and local seats.