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ENC voters head to the polls as early voting opens

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:24 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Thursday marked the first day of early voting for North Carolina’s primary elections.

The 17-day one-stop early voting period for the 2022 statewide primary allows people the opportunity to register and vote on the same day.

Onslow County has five early voting locations. Those who wish to register and vote on the same day may do so with a valid form of identification and proof of county residence.

The State Board of Elections says early voting ends at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Despite the convenience, election officials say the traffic pales in comparison to the 2020 elections.

“There was a three hour wait so early voting hasn’t been so popular today compared to that,” said Onslow County Elections director Jason Dedmond.

Some voters say they think the decrease pertains to the rigorous gerrymandering lawsuits and census delays due to COVID-19 that have held up the elections.

“It is daunting you know it’s really daunting seniors you know they get it in a mind vote this time and a lot of the seniors here don’t have transportation so it can’t it has been a problem and I think it’s hindered some people from voting,” said early voter Barbra Hubbard.

Despite the decrease in early voters, Dedmond says the timing of elections this year brings hope.

“Now with this being combined with the midterm election, I feel like more people will turn out. Also, the county commissioners are on this one as well,” said Dedmond.

Elections officials and early voters are hopeful for more ballots to be cast, understanding the importance of the task at hand.

“It’s imperative that we vote for every election you know people died for the right to vote I want to make sure my vote count you know I may die tomorrow but I voted today,” said Hubbard.

During the early voting period, voters may cast a ballot at any one-stop site in their county.

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