Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hey all...sorry for the lack of entries. Life is a little hectic on many fronts! I'll have some great stuff tomorrow night or Friday so stay tuned. In the mean time here's my story from today...

RALEIGH -- The May primary is still more than two weeks away but you can start voting as early as Thursday.

Early one stop voting opens up across the state at limited locations and if you forgot to register, for the first time in a statewide election, you can still vote during early voting.

voter registration has jumped 13-percent from 2004 and some elections officials believe turnout could reach 50-percent on May 6th.

It's exciting for voter advocates but it's causing some concern as well.

"This is a big election," Bob Hall from Democracy North Carolina said. "This is going to be a record shattering election. We want to be sure that all those early voting sites have adequate staffing."

That's why Hall and others are hoping you'll use one stop early voting that starts Thursday and continues until May 3rd.

"People that can vote early should try to vote early particularly on a weekday in the mid morning mid afternoon if they have that kind of flexibility, that's going to be the times with the least long lines," Hall added.

To help with higher turnout there are more early voting sites than ever across the state. Wake County added eight new sites for this election alone. Mecklenburg County added five for a total of 17. Guilford County officials believe they have enough with 12.

A new law allows you to register and vote on the same day during early voting, but you still cannot vote on election day.

Same day voters must bring a photo ID like a driver's license, bank statement, utility bill, or student i-d.

"Most people don't get excited about elections until right up to the time to really vote and so that's why we feel this would be something that would help to make sure those people who are thinking about that and would say I haven't registered yet and I want to vote and they will be able to do that," Lynice Williams from the Same Day Voter Coalition said.

Advocates hope the changes will lead to a smooth voting experience from now through May 6th. Each county controls the number of early voting sites and hours.

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