Polls packed on last day of early voting

Early voting period in N.C. officially closed Saturday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The University City Library was indeed “booked” Saturday, as a line of voters stretched around the block during the last few hours of early voting.

For some voters, Saturday was the best time to vote without disrupting their weekday schedules.

“Tuesday is not going to be a good day for me because I have to be at work, so I wanted to be able to make my vote count,” said voter Sissy Shelton. “So I needed to come today.”

“Work has been hectic, my wife and I were here early, so might as well come out today and get it in,” said James Holley. 

Other voters, like Samantha Ferro, came to vote Saturday because of changes in address. 

“I actually just moved to Mecklenburg County so I have to change my registration and I missed the cutoff, so I have to do it today,” Ferro said.

Before polls even opened Saturday, 40-percent of registered voters in Mecklenburg County and more than 37-percent statewide had already voted early or absentee.

The voting process took anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours to get to the front of the line. At the library, the line wrapped all the way around the parking lot.

Because of the heavy turnout, former governor Jim Hunt and the Democratic Party asked the state board of elections to extend the deadline until 5 p.m.

But in Mecklenburg County at least, the answer was no. Though anyone standing in line at 1p.m. – and there were many – was allowed to vote. 

Even for the procrastinators, they felt it was better late than never to cast a ballot.

“Because every vote does count,” Shelton said. “And it does make a difference.”

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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