LAURINBURG — With a hotly contested presidential race among the election offerings this year, early voting could be heavy, according to Dell Parker, director of the Scotland County Board of Elections.
Early voting for the General Election will begin statewide on Oct. 20. Voters can already submit absentee ballots by mail. Same-day registration will be available during one-stop early voting. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 14.
“I’m expecting there to be a large turnout, but we will have to see,” Parker said. “I’ve heard a few people say that they don’t plan to vote at all. I hope they change their minds by Election Day if they don’t come out during the early voting period.”
Parker said if history is a guide, the first day of early voting and the last Friday of the 17-day period, will be the busiest.
Scotland, like all 100 county election boards, had to come up with new early voting schedules after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out several portions of a 2013 North Carolina election law. Boards that did not give unanimous approval to the new schedules had to go before the State Elections Board. About 33 counties submitted two early voting plans to the state Board of Elections for approval, which the state Board of Elections sorted through last week during an 11-hour meeting.
Scotland’s plan, which provides 116 hours for early voting, was adopted unanimously.
The court ruling also meant that voters no longer had to present a photo ID at the polls and early voting was not limited to 10 days.
However, if you’re voting for the first time in North Carolina, registered to vote by mail, and did not provide your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number when you registered, you will have to bring one of the following:Driver’s license or state ID; a utlity bill; bank statement; paycheck; or any government document with the voter’s name.
The following are the times when Scotland County voters can cast early ballots at the Scotland County Board of Elections, located at 231 East Cronly St.: Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m; Oct. 24 through Oct. 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day; Oct. 31 and Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day; Nov. 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Election Day is Nov. 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The Scotland County Board of Elections will meet on Monday at 10 am in the elections office to test voting equipment.
Scott Witten can be reached at 910-506-3023.