Darts and Laurels: Big election about to start
Laurels to early voting, which starts Thursday at the Rowan County Board of Elections. It’s officially called “no-excuse one-stop voting,” a nod to the days when you had to cite a reason why you could not vote on Election Day — an excuse — in order to cast a ballot early. More than a dozen states still adhere to that system. With North Carolina and 36 other states opting to spread voting out over a few weeks, early voting has steadily grown in popularity. Participation nationwide has risen from 7 percent in 1992 to more than 30 percent in the last two presidential elections.
With widespread early voting, people can vote on the day and time that suits their schedules, so finding time to cast a ballot is a little easier. There’s a trade-off, though. A University of Wisconsin study found that early voting had the effect of “dissipating the energy of Election Day over a longer period of time” and could actually reduce turnout. Fortunately, that does not appear to have been North Carolina’s experience.
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Dart to people who either wittingly or unwittingly mislead people about how to register to vote. Last week a pair of Community Voters Project workers canvassing in Rowan were fired after passing on misleading or inaccurate information as they attempted to register new voters. The regular deadline to register passed Friday, but North Carolina voters can continue to register when they go to early-voting sites — the Rowan County Board of Elections at West End Plaza this week. More sites will open Oct. 27 and will offer early voting through Nov. 4. The best way to make sure you are registering properly is to go to or call the Board of Elections at 704-216-8140.
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Laurels to North Carolina’s belief in letting the voters decide. In this state, voters choose everyone from president to state treasurer to soil and water conservation supervisor. One downside of all these elected offices, though, is the job of finding reliable information about them all.
The Post is publishing a voter’s guide on Sunday, Oct. 23, that will be full of information about every race from president to State Supreme Court to school board. Several of these stories have already appeared in the paper; the section will pull them all together in once place. Meanwhile, you can find related stories on the Post’s website, under “Vote 2016” on the navigation bar, and a sample ballot will appear in the paper soon.