Long lines greet early voters

October 24, 2012 3:44:55 PM PDT
Statewide, more than 12 percent of registered North Carolinians have already cast their vote.

The ballot blitz has state election officials urging local counties to extend early voting hours.

Wake County said they just don't have the cash and that's the case in counties around the state.

Long lines are waiting for many voters.

"We also have 400,000 more registered voters than we did in 2008 due to gains in population and we have the smaller amount of polling places," said State Board of Elections Director Gary Barlett.

This year there are more voters and fewer places to cast your ballot. Early voting has gotten off to a rocky start.  

Bartlett said and it may not be getting better any time soon but he wants the counties to try.

"The counties do not have the budgets to have it open the full time and what we're asking them to do is to add a few hours a day," said Bartlett.

With counties tightening their wallet, Wake County Board of Elections Deputy Director Gary Sims said they are tapped out with 16 sites open and hours extended as long as they can be.

"Right now, I know we've hit max capacity on what staff can do at this point," said Sims.

Everyone said it's important to vote despite the long lines.

"I think early voting is important for maybe people with families," said voter Barbara Key. "I have a child who's sick today. What if I couldn't have come out on Election Day."

Click here for more information on early voting locations and times.

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