RALEIGH - We're just 90 days away from the election in November, with Wake County's early voting starting Oct. 8. Wednesday, Wake's Board of Elections decided where the county will have early voting sites and how long they'll be open. But some Republicans are calling the early voting plans partisan politics.
Before every big election, the Wake Board of Elections meets to determine where to put early voting sites and when they will be open. This time, there was a lot of disagreement; not just among the three board members, but among politicians and people in the community.
In the end, the board decided to have 15 early voting sites around the county. To meet budget restraints, most of them will only be open for 11 days.
However, four so-called super-sites will be open for 15 days.
The sites are located at:
• Optimist Community Center
• Chavis Community Center
• Cary Senior Center
• N.C. State's Student Center
Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley, a Republican, said the location of these super-sites and the fact they are open longer than other early voting locations favors the Democrats.
"These were very partisan decisions made to put sites where it will benefit the Democrats in the November election," he said.
Election officials pointed out it was a Republican and a Democrat who voted to approve the early voting site plans with one Democrat voting against it.
Despite the bi-partisan vote, Gurley said he was taking the issue to Wake County Commissioners, urging them to pull some funding from the Board of Elections.
“I think we should reduce the funding to where all the early voting sites are open the same number of days,” he said. “This [elections] board should not be allowed to discriminate against some citizens of Wake County while benefiting other citizens of Wake County.”
Elections officials say their budget has already been approved and they are doing the most they can with the funds allocated to them.
Wednesday's decisions just impact Wake County's early voting. On election day, Nov. 6, there will be 200 polling places across Wake County. All of them will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Voters also have the option of casting their ballot absentee by mail. You simply request a ballot from the Board of Elections, it will be mailed to you, then fill it out and return it to the Board of Elections by mail.
For more information about early voting times and locations, click here.