Yesterday was the first day for One Stop Early Voting in North Carolina and it was immediately evident that people really want to vote. The previous record for number of voters voting in a single day during early voting in Durham was 4,476, set on October 29, 2004. Yesterday, Durham county had 6,264 people vote. Durham Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe has been quoted that he thinks this new record will be broken! You can keep track of each day’s totals at this link (note: pdf file).
Early voting is especially convenient in North Carolina due to the fact that you can register, or update your registration, and vote on the same day. With that in mind, it’s useful to review who is eligible to register to vote in NC. Anyone in NC may register to vote provided they sign a voter decleration attesting that:
- They are a U.S. citizen.
- They have been a resident of North Carolina and the county they are registering in for 30 days before the election.
- They will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
- They are not registered to vote, nor will they vote in any other county or state.
- If they have been convicted of a felony, their rights of citizenship have been restored.
Note that untruthful answers on any of these questions on your registration form is considered a felony, so make sure you answer truthfully! In addition, the person registering to vote must provide proof of residency by showing the elections official an appropriate form of identification with the citizen’s current name and current address. Note that if you are registering at a One Stop Early Voting location you are only allowed to vote at the early voting election and not in the next general election. I’m not sure why you’d want to leave and then come back to vote, but since you can’t, it doesn’t matter. In any case an “appropriate form of identification” is defined to be:
- A North Carolina driver’s license with current address
- A utility bill with name and current address
- A telephone or mobile phone bill
- An electric or gas bill
- A cable television bill
- A water or sewage bill
- A document with name and current address from a local, state, or U.S. government agency, such as:
- A passport
- A government-issued photo ID
- U.S. military ID
- A license to hunt, fish, own a gun, etc.
- A property or other tax bill
- Automotive or vehicle registration
- Certified documentation of naturalization
- A public housing or Social Service Agency document
- A check, invoice, or letter from a government agency
- A birth certificate
- A student photo ID along with a document from the school showing the student’s name and current address
- A paycheck or paycheck stub from an employer or a W-2 statement
- A bank statement or bank-issued credit card statement
You can find out much more about registering to vote at the State Board of Elections website. In addition, you can look up your own voting information and get both your polling location and a sample ballot for your district. So, if you want to vote but are not yet registered, go register and vote! Or, if you don’t want to fight the crowds on election day (although, apparently 25% of all voters in the U.S. voted early in the 2006 election and that number will almost certainly grow for this election), go vote early. But, whatever you do, please go vote!