New polling sites open as one-stop early voting starts in North Carolina

Early voting: What you need to know

CHARLOTTE — Twenty locations will open their doors to voters in Mecklenburg County Thursday.

New sites for the 2020 primary races include the new library on South Boulevard near the Scaleybark Station and Belk Gymnasium, located on UNC Charlotte’s campus.

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“Our goal is to make sure, even the young people that want to come out or the faculty … or the folks that live or work around there are able to vote,” Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson said.

Eric Heberlig, with the university’s political science department, said UNCC has been emailing students and putting ads in the campus newspaper letting students know about the polling site. Signs are also going to be installed.

“If you are physically walking across campus and see you can vote there, and if there is a crowd of people going, hopefully, that creates a bandwagon effect,” Heberlig said.

It may take a little longer than usual to cast a ballot. This is the first time new voting equipment will be in place. Voters must physically place their ballot into a machine to be counted.

During the early voting period, you can register on-site to cast a ballot.

With the state law in flux, there is no requirement to present an ID to vote. Unaffiliated voters can select a Democratic, Libertarian or Republican ballot.

Dickerson expects turnout to be in the 30% to 35% range.

"We are all ready and kind of excited about it," Dickerson said. "Twenty early-voting sites ready to go."

Polling sites open at 8 a.m. Thursday and close at 7:30 p.m. The primary is March 3.

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