Elect 2012: Some people can't wait to vote

  • Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:15 a.m.

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY - More than 1,400 Rowan County residents took the first chance they got to vote early in the 2012 election.
From the time early voting opened at 8 a.m. Thursday until it closed for the day at 5 p.m., a steady line trailed out of the Rowan Public Library headquarters. Sometimes only a handful of voters stood waiting, while during busy hours the line wrapped around the building or the back parking lot.
Election officials said 1,435 people cast ballots at the Rowan Public Library headquarters on the first day of one-stop early voting. That's a jump of nearly 50 percent from 945 the same day in 2008, the last presidential election year.
"I'm glad people are voting," said Rowan County Elections director Nancy Evans. "I do hope some of the crowd tomorrow goes to the other site to give them a break (at the library)."
Starting today, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Rowan County residents can also vote early at the former Department of Social Services building on Mahaley Avenue in Salisbury.
Four other locations in Cleveland, Spencer, Rockwell and China Grove will open next week. A full schedule is listed below.
Evans said she doesn't know why the first day was so popular this year, or what it might mean for total turnout.
"I know we've been pushing one-stop voting, but I'm not sure why everyone came out today when you have a few weeks," Evans said.
Republicans and Democrats alike have been encouraging people to vote early this year, in an effort to increase turnout for their side.
Many who voted around lunchtime Thursday said they were simply eager to cast their ballots, and the fair sunny weather didn't hurt.
Salisbury residents John and Myrnie McLaughlin stood in line outside the library around noon.
"Voting is very important, and we wanted to be sure we're not going to have to wait a long time," Myrnie said.
John added, "And we had our minds made up how we're going to vote, so there's no point in waiting."
The couple said they have cast ballots during one-stop voting for as long as it's been available. Myrnie said she thinks allowing early voting lets more people participate.
"It also enables you to get beyond this darned election," John said, laughing.
UNC Charlotte student Ashley Dutton said she wanted to vote while she knows she'll be in town. This is the first time she has had the chance to participate in a presidential election.
"I've had a lot of conflict trying to choose," Dutton said. "In the end, it's been more stressful than I thought."
Many people said Thursday they were most interested in voting for either President Barack Obama or his opponent, Mitt Romney. Some talked about candidates for Congress or governor, but Dutton was one of the few interviewed who brought up a local race.
Dutton, who is studying to become a school teacher, said she has been paying close attention to the candidates for the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education. It's hard to keep up with local elections from Charlotte, she said, but she tries to stay informed with the help of her mother back home in Salisbury.
Aaron Lewis of Salisbury said he works out of town and doesn't know if he'll have time to go to his polling place on Nov. 6. He, like several others at the library, said he likes knowing that his voice will be heard.
"I wanted to make sure I got my vote cast," Lewis said. "It's everybody's responsibility to vote. If you don't vote, you can't complain about who won and who lost."
Early voting locations and times:
Rowan Public Library headquarters, 201 W. Fisher St., Salisbury
(Entrance at back near Church Street with accessible ramp)
Thursday, Oct. 18-Saturday, Nov. 3
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3
Former DSS Building, 165 Mahaley Ave., Salisbury
Friday, Oct. 19-Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Cleveland Town Hall, 302 E. Main St., Cleveland
Monday, Oct. 22-Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Spencer Municipal Building, 600 S. Salisbury Ave., Spencer
Tuesday, Oct. 23-Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Rowan Public Library east branch, 110 Broad St., Rockwell
Wednesday, Oct. 24-Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday & Friday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Rowan Public Library south branch, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove
Thursday, Oct. 25-Friday, Nov. 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday & Friday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Twitter: twitter.com/postcopolitics
Facebook: facebook.com/Karissa.SalisburyPost

 


 

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