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The Daily Tar Heel

No Excuse Voter Station Set Up in Planetarium

Voting is open from now until Sept. 10.

Moeser and Daum cast the first votes at the No Excuse voter station located inside the Morehead Building. The facility allows voters registered in Orange County to vote at any time leading up to the Sept. 10 election.

Twenty-eight people -- including Moeser and Daum -- voted during the first day of polling on campus, said Bob Gotwals, assistant director of Morehead Planetarium.

Across the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, a relatively small number of people turned out to vote Monday. But it is not uncommon for voters to be few and far between during the first weeks of early voting, said Carolyn Thomas, director of the Orange County Board of Elections.

The No Excuse One-Stop Absentee Voting Sites began two years ago during the 2000 presidential election. There were originally 158 No Excuse stations statewide, and officials estimated that nearly 200,000 North Carolina voters used these facilities in 2000.

Daum said student government officials will be publicizing the early voting station in the Pit and during student government interest meetings to encourage students to vote.

Brad Overcash, student government communications director, said he expects there will be a lot of interest in voting on campus this year.

"I think it's going to be an interesting enough election that if it's convenient enough for people to vote, they will," he said. "Student government's job will be to let them know they can go to Morehead."

Daum said she also believes that the race between Democratic state Senate primary opponents Ellie Kinnaird and Howard Lee will bring students to the voting booth.

Moeser said he expects more students will turn out because the location is so close, especially for students who do not have cars.

"There is no reason not to vote when it's this convenient," he said.

The voting center will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays between now and Sept. 10. Anyone in line at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10 will be allowed to vote.

Moeser said he hopes students are not the only ones to use the facility.

"I hope all faculty, staff and students all take advantage of this," he said

Overcash said he thinks students will be more likely to vote at a polling place on campus because they are familiar with the area.

He said that many students often do not know where to go to vote on Election Day and that even if they know the location of the polling site, they might not be familiar enough with the area to know how to get there.

He said, "If students actually go out and vote, we can start being taken seriously in Orange County."

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