GAME ON! It’s time to early vote

By Christina Stableford, Voter Advocacy Ministry

If your voting plan includes early voting, it’s time to grab a helmet and get in the game!  

Early Voting sites are now open and will remain active through October 31st. A complete list of locations and hours for Early Voting Sites in Wake County is available here.

Need we remind you that EVERY vote matters? North Carolina is a swing state, which means that presidential elections (and the down-ballot races that tend to align with them) are often won by very small margins. In 2012, Mitt Romney won North Carolina by just 2 percentage points. And in 2016, Gov. Cooper won by only a few thousand votes.

Historically, Early Voting has the highest percentage of successfully cast ballots (99.8% in the 2016 presidential cycle in North Carolina). Early Voting also offers flexibility: choice of voting sites and some extended evening and weekend hours. If you are not already registered at your current address, you will be able to register AND vote at any Early Voting site in the county.  

All Early Voting sites have adopted strict protocols to protect both poll workers and voters against the spread of the Coronavirus: 

  • All poll workers will be wearing masks and/or face shields, and masks will be provided for any voter who needs one. 
  • To encourage social distancing, check-in and voting lines inside the buildings have been spaced with strict adherence to DHS guidelines. 
  • Did we mention FREE PENS? As an extra protective measure, each voter will receive a new pen to mark his/her ballot.

If you were planning to vote by mail but haven’t yet mailed your ballot, consider voting early instead so there are no delays counting North Carolina’s votes. Even if you were mailed a ballot, you can simply discard it and go to the polls.

Also, did you know that many absentee ballots are rejected due to errors? Early voting is the surest way to get your vote counted.

If your preferred voting option is Election Day —Tuesday, November 3 — please remember that you must be pre-registered (no same-day registration), and you must vote at your assigned precinct. All the safety measures noted above will be in place at precinct voting sites. Find your precinct here.

However, postponing your vote until Election Day is riskier than usual this year, because if you have any signs of illness that day, you can’t go to the polls — so consider voting early even if you haven’t in prior years.

All elections have consequences, and this election is possibly the most consequential in our collective history as a nation. If you knew that a single pre-planned errand would contribute to securing a better future for yourself, your family, your community, and your nation, wouldn’t you gladly run it before it was too late?  

Now is the time to express your hopes for the forward course of our country, our state, and our communities. Happy ballot-casting!

If you want to get involved in UUFR’s collective effort to get out the vote, learn more here.