NC Early Voting Underway For May 6 Primary Election
RALEIGH, N.C. — Thousands of people went to the polls Thursday as early voting began in all 100 counties for North Carolina's May 6 primary.
The early voting period is different from recent years because the General Assembly passed a law in 2013 reducing the number of early voting days from 17 to 10.
The law also ended same-day registration — meaning citizens can no longer register to vote at any of the 289 early voting sites statewide and cast ballots at the same time. So anyone who wanted to vote needed to register by April 11. Early voting ends May 3.
People won't be required to show photo identification to vote in person until 2016, if the requirement is upheld by the courts. For now, workers at early voting centers and at precincts on primary day will ask voters if they have a qualifying ID. A voter who doesn't will be asked to sign an acknowledgment of the ID requirements and get information on how to obtain a photo ID, in some cases for free.
The law required counties to offer at least the same number of cumulative hours for people to vote ahead of election day as for the 2010 primary. But 38 counties, many of them smaller and rural, were granted exceptions to provide fewer hours, according to data from the State Board of Elections. Exceptions required unanimous approval by members of the county board and State Board of Elections.
The other counties offered the same number of hours or more hours compared with 2010. Overall, the 100 counties are offering 1.3 percent fewer cumulative hours to vote compared with the 2010 primary, the state elections board said.
Voters are casting ballots for U.S. Senate, Congress, the legislature, court posts and local seats.