10/14/08 — Election officials: One-stop voters will face lines

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Election officials: One-stop voters will face lines

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 14, 2008 1:46 PM

Wayne County residents who plan to take advantage of the one-stop voting that gets under way Thursday morning should be prepared to possibly spend some time waiting in line.

"People are going to have to be prepared for a line," Board of Elections Director Vickie Reed said. "I'm not saying it will be a long line, except perhaps for the last day, but I think it will be a steady stream."

Those anticipated lines are just one indication of the interest in the Nov. 4 election. Another is reflected in the number of new voters.

Since the May primary, 3,413 new voters have registered, not counting another 850 who have not yet been entered into the system. Twice as many Democrats, 1,673, registered as did Republicans, 828, during that time. Another 901 registered as unaffiliated and 11 as Libertarians.

The county has 65,962 voters eligible to cast ballots on Nov. 4. Democrats account for 33,276 of the total; Republicans, 21,198; unaffiliated, 11,468; and Libertarians, 20.

Elections officials expect up to about 60 percent, or almost 40,000, of that total to cast ballots. Approximately one half of the votes cast are expected to be one-stop, Ms. Reed said.

To help handle the anticipated record one-stop turnout the county will have three primary locations open from Oct. 16 through Nov. 1 with two satellite sites to open during the week prior to the election.

The primary one-stop voting locations are:

* Wayne County Public Library, 1001 E. Ash St.

* Dudley Fire Station, 4533 U.S. 117 Alt. South at Dudley.

* Woodmen of the World, 3733 U.S. 117 North.

The sites will be open Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

The satellite one-stop voting sites will be open Oct. 25 through Nov. 1 at the Fremont Town Hall, 120 E. Main St. in Fremont and Johnston Ambulance Service, 2803 U.S. 70 West. The hours of operation will be 1 to 5 p.m.

All five sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 1, the final day of one-stop voting.

One-stop voting also offers a way for people who missed last week's registration deadline to still vote.

A separate table will be set up at the sites were people may register and vote on the same day. To do so, they must have a photo identification that has their correct address. Lacking that, a bill, such as a utility bill with the address, may be used.

To register to vote a person must be a U.S. citizen 18 or older and must have been a resident of the state and county for 30 or more days prior to the election.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot. The ballot must be returned in the mail by 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 3. Thus far the county has received 1,400 requests for absentee ballots.

The fastest way to receive such a ballot, elections officials said, is to mail a written letter to the Wayne County Board of Elections, Attn.: Absentee Request, 209 S. William St., Goldsboro, N.C. 27530.

The letter must include the person's name, date of birth, physical address, mailing address, the election day for which the ballot is needed -- in this case Nov. 4 -- and signature.

A near relative of the voter may request a ballot. The relative must state who the ballot is for and their relationship to the person. A near-relative is defined as a spouse, parent, grandparent, legal guardian, child, grandchild, sibling or in-law.

People who registered to vote on or after Jan. 1, 2003, and did not present identification will be required to submit one of the following forms of identification with their returned absentee ballot: a current and valid photo identification; current utility bill, government check, payroll check or bank statement showing name and address; or another current government document showing name and address.

More information about the election, a listing of candidates and sample ballots are available at the Board of Elections' Web site at www.waynegov.com/boe.

The Board of Elections office will open Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. and will remain open until all precincts have reported and returned their equipment.

Election night results will be displayed in the office's board room as they are received from the precincts.