The Orange County Board of Elections (OCBE) has unveiled a new online tool to help voters plan a trip to the polling place.
Rachel Raper, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, said there is a web-based tool on their website that helps voters view their voting location place and figure out the best route to their polling place. The tool is called Map Your Trip and also shows if any public transit options are available to the destination.
“The purpose of the tool is to provide an opportunity for voters to map their trips while participating in the electoral process,” Raper said. “I thought of it when pondering how to make voting as accessible as possible.”
Jason Roberts, a member of the Orange County Board of Elections, said this tool was made to make it easier for voters to get to their polling place.
“The tool links to Google Maps, which allows you to choose from driving, walking, or taking transit,” Roberts said.
Raper said the tool is being unveiled now because in-person early voting for the March 3, 2020 primary begins February 13.
Early voting runs from February 13-29 and is offered at six sites.
Same day voter registration is available during the early voting period at all six early voting sites with proof of Orange County residency. Same day registrants can only vote during the early voting period.
The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 North Carolina primary is this Friday, Feb. 7. But some mail-in absentee ballots, military and overseas ballots have already been cast in North Carolina's 2020 primary.
As of 4:34 a.m., 955 ballots had been cast in North Carolina, 28 of which came from Orange County. Absentee ballots can be requested online on the OCBE website.
Colby Edmonds, a first-year student at UNC, said she is not registered to vote in Orange County yet but plans on registering very soon. She said, now that she is adjusted to the Chapel Hill area, she wants to have a voice in the town that is her new home.
“After learning about this tool, it encourages me even more to register to vote because it seems so simple to find a way to get to your polling place which can be difficult at times, especially as a new college student with a busy schedule,” Edmonds said.
Raper said she hopes this will encourage more people to vote and make going to their polling locations as easy as possible during early voting and on Election Day.
“My hope would be that voters will be able to get to their correct polling place as efficiently as possible,” Roberts said. “Knowing where to vote is a hurdle to voting for a lot of people, so I hope this alleviates that problem for some voters.”
The new tool can be found on the Orange County website at www.orangecountync.gov/2003/Map-Your-Trip.
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