The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 22nd

Higher early voting turnout for local elections

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Early voting began on Oct. 22. Compared to the first five days of early voting in 2013 in Orange County, there was a 193 percent increase in early voter turnout this year.

Early voting will last until 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Any Orange County resident can visit any of the four one-stop voting sites in Orange County to vote early: the Board of Elections Office in Hillsborough, Carrboro Town Hall, Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill or the Seymour Senior Center, also in Chapel Hill.

During the early voting period, registered voters can update their address or change any other information on their registration.

Those who haven’t registered to vote in Orange County and are eligible can register at any of these early voting sites.

Students that live in dorms or near the University have the opportunity to vote at Chapel of the Cross on Franklin Street, which is walking distance from campus.

“It’s important for voters in Chapel Hill to vote,” said Michael Parker, a candidate for Chapel Hill Town Council.

“Anything that makes it easier and simpler and more convenient to vote is terrific. I think that early voting is one of the things that increases turnout (and) is very valuable to our community.”

Early voting gives the opportunity to those who cannot vote on Tuesday to vote at a more convenient time. Voters are given the same ballot used on Election Day.

David Schwartz, another candidate for Town Council, said voting early assures that if any surprises on Election Day happen, they won’t prevent voters from casting a vote.

“(There’s) always a possibility that Tuesday, your alarm might not go off and you’ll sleep all day until the evening,” Schwartz said.

“You may have an attack of acute appendicitis, and you might have to rush to the hospital. Or you may find yourself all day at home waiting for a plumber to show up, or your flight back from a business trip on Monday night might be canceled. Any number of things might happen that will interfere to vote on Tuesday. So if you have the opportunity to go ahead and vote early and leave that uncertainty, you should take it.”

On the ballot, there are three candidates for mayor, including incumbent Mark Kleinschmidt, nine for Town Council and eight for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education.

Voters will also vote either “yes” or “no” to approve five bonds for the town.

Pam Hemminger, one of the three candidates running for Chapel Hill mayor, said students who can vote can still research the candidates to make an informed decision.

“I would suggest to either look at the democratic voter guide or go to the websites of the candidates they’re interested in,” Hemminger said.

“The democratic voter guide has everybody listed so that might be one place to go.”

There’s no need to bring identification to the polls yet — that starts in 2016.

In case you end up sleeping all day on Tuesday, go vote early between today and Saturday.



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