RALEIGH, NC, July 6, 2018 - The League of Women Voters of Wake County has been a champion of voter education, voting rights and access to the polls since its inception. Next week on July 10, the Wake County Board of Elections will meet to determine the sites, dates, and times for General Election early voting. The League has asked the Wake County Board of Commissioners to write a letter to the Board of Elections in support of funding Early Voting. The League further requests that the County Commission agrees to provide funding for as many sites as possible and that Saturday and Sunday voting is available at all sites throughout the entire early voting period, October 17 – November 3. Marian Lewin, president of the League of Women Voters of Wake County (LWV-Wake), states that, “a letter from the Wake County Board of Commissioners to the Board of Elections can have a significant effect. Before the municipal elections in 2017, the Raleigh City Council provided similar support and the early voting plan was quickly approved.”
According LWV-Wake president Lewin, “early voting has become an integral feature of voting in North Carolina and has helped increase voter participation in elections.” In 2016 the voter turnout was 75.16% (NCSBE) the highest of all urban counties. Wake County continues to grow and has long passed the 1 million mark. Yet, for many years, the number of polling precincts open on election day has remained steady at about 205 precincts. Early Voting has become a critical component of voting in Wake County.
LWV-Wake president Lewin believes that “without expanded early voting, many precincts may experience unreasonably long lines on election day.” As of July 2, seventy precincts have more than 4,000 voters and six have more than 7,000 voters. The ballot for the November 6 election will be exceptionally long with many legislative, county and judicial candidates. In addition, there will be six constitutional amendments. Voters will need extra time to go through the ballot further adding to the likelihood of long waits at polling sites.
The League of Women Voters of Wake County hopes that the Wake County Board of Elections’ meeting on July 10 will result in a unanimous Early Voting Plan and will make voting simpler throughout the county.
The League of Women Voters of Wake County is a grassroots nonpartisan organization dedicated to encouraging citizens’ participation in government and understanding of important issues through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters does not endorse or oppose political parties or candidates for office. Learn more at www.lwvwake.org.
LWV-Wake Communications Coordinator