Eastern Wake News

Early voting open in Zebulon, starts in Knightdale this week

Early voting site officials (left) work on processing special ballots while a steady stream of voters files through the polling place even in the late morning at the Wake County Eastern Regional Center in Zebulon, N.C. Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.
Early voting site officials (left) work on processing special ballots while a steady stream of voters files through the polling place even in the late morning at the Wake County Eastern Regional Center in Zebulon, N.C. Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. amoody@newsobserver.com

Early voting for the 2016 general election has started in Zebulon and will open in Knightdale on Thursday, Oct. 27.

If early numbers are any indication, voter turnout before the election is likely to be high.

Wake County Board of Elections officials reported more than 12,000 people cast ballots on Thursday, the opening day of early voting. At the polling place in Zebulon, there were 757 ballots cast on the first day of early voting.

“I think the word of the day is ‘robust’ turnout,” said Gary Sims, Wake County’s elections director. “People are showing up — and a lot of people. I tell you, despite the news about this and that, everybody has been extremely polite and civil. We’re not experiencing anything negative, and I’m really happy with that.”

Wake County wasn’t the only place where voter turnout was high.

About 900 people had voted by late afternoon in Franklin County, which has about 43,000 registered votes. While the county went from three sites in 2012 to a single site on the first voting day this year, elections director Lisa Goswick said wait times were “probably no more than 10 minutes.”

“It’s the most (voters) we’ve ever had on the first day,” she said.

Eligible Wake County voters may vote at any Wake County voting site. Early voting began at the Eastern Regional Center, 102 Dogwood Drive, Zebulon, on Thursday, Oct. 20, and runs until Nov. 5. Early voting in Knightdale is at the Knightdale Recreation Center, 101 Lawson Ridge Road, and also runs until Nov. 5.

At both locations, hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, except Nov. 5, when it is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Early voting ends at 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at all Wake locations.

Same-day registration is available at early voting sites. Proof of current address – either a North Carolina driver’s license, a photo ID from a government agency or a current bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document – is required for same-day voting.

Same-day registration will not be allowed on Election Day, Nov. 8.

Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Craig Jarvis and Colin Campbell contributed to this report.

Matt Goad: 919-829-4826

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