Early voting for local elections in Orange County starts Oct. 19 at the Orange County Board of Elections office and on Oct. 23 at the Carrboro Town Hall, Seymour Senior Center, and Chapel of the Cross. Early voting will end on Nov. 4 and Election day is Nov. 7.
Gerry Cohen, a former legislative aid for the NC General Assembly, said this year in Orange County is the longest early voting period for municipal elections.
“Two years ago there were only 10 days allowed, under state law, rather than 17 days because of legislation passed by the general assembly in 2013, but it was struck down in court so we’re back to a 17 day period,” Cohen said.
According to the Orange County Board of Elections, early voting will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Board of Elections office and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the rest of the locations.
Cohen said in recent years the voting records have increased with more sites and voting hours available — creating more chances for the community to vote. Orange County has 22 percent more early voting hours than Raleigh and Cary have.
Amanda Monroe, a sophomore double major in global studies and French, said she is planning on voting but hasn't done her research yet.
“Local elections are important to me because a lot of change starts at a local level and grassroots level in order to make a nationwide change," Monroe said. "So I will definitely be voting.”
Cohen said he sees the benefits of early voting because it allows individuals to register and report address changes in Orange County earlier than on Election Day.
Alyson Jordan, a junior political science major, said she plans to vote in Orange County even though she is from Durham County. Early voting has many advantages for individual voters, Jordan said, especially for college students and the working class — there’s more opportunities for citizens to get out and vote on their schedule.
"I am a student here," she said. "I still view this community as my home and believe it is important to participate in these local elections for that very reason. My advice for others is to put the voting schedule into your planners, phone calendars or whatever you use to keep up with stuff, because if you don't make the time for it, you won't do it at all.”
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