Midtown Raleigh News

Voting day is Tuesday

Voters go to the polls Tuesday to pick nominees for state and congressional offices and to decide on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage.

The winner of a spirited six-way Democratic gubernatorial race is expected to face GOP candidate Pat McCrory, a heavy favorite on the Republican side.

Of all the races on Tuesday’s ballot, the most talked-about item may be a proposed amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Committees for the opposing sides raised a combined $3.2 million, more than double the cost of the Democratic governor’s race.

Based on early voting figures, turnout could approach or surpass the 39 percent mark from the 2008 primary, said Cherie Poucher, director of the Wake County Board of Elections. The 2008 contest featured a competitive race between Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

“This one is a little bit harder to gauge,” Poucher said.

As of Thursday night, 26,498 Wake County voters had cast early ballots, compared to a final number of 37,458 in the 2008 primary, Poucher said. In the 2010 off-year election, only 3,955 early ballots were cast.

Here are some basics to prepare for Election Day.

When to vote: The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

What to bring: You are not required to show your voter card when you vote. As long as you provided a valid identification number on your voter registration application, you will not be required to show ID before voting.

Just in case, first-time voters are encouraged to bring a current form of ID that lists your name and residence address.

How you will vote: You will be required to verbally state your name and current address (and party affiliation if it is a partisan primary). After marking your ballot, you will place the ballot into an optical scanner. The machine will read and count your choices, then it will store your ballot in a locked bin under the scanner.

If you recently moved: If you are a registered voter who moved within Wake County 30 or more days prior to an election and failed to notify the Board of Elections, it is against the law to return to your old precinct and vote.

Call the Board of Elections to find out your new polling place. You will be able to vote at your new polling place, but you will first need to fill out a form to update your address.

If you need curbside help: Curbside voting is offered at all Wake County polling places. You must be unable to enter the polling place because of age or physical disability. Poll workers monitor the parking area throughout the day and will walk to your car when you park in one of the designated spaces.

Questions? Call the Board of Elections office at 919-856-6240 or visit WakeGov.com/elections.