Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 20 in North Carolina, giving people just over two weeks to vote before Election Day itself on Nov. 8.
It will end on Saturday, November 5 at 3 p.m. For many voters – including anyone living in the Triangle area – there will be several options for going to vote on a weekend, if voting on a weekday is an issue.
A few counties don’t allow people to show up on weekends, but that’s not the case everywhere in or around the Triangle. Early voting sites in Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham and Harnett counties will all be open daily from October 20 through November 5. Sites in several other nearby counties, including Johnston and Franklin, will be open on some early weekend days to vote but not all.
The hours are also not uniform from county to county. But generally early voting sites are open for at least a few hours on weekends, and on weekdays they tend to be open from 8 a.m. until at least 5 p.m., and often until 7:30 p.m.
What you need to know: the basics
To find a map of early voting locations in your county and a list of hours of operation, go to vt.ncsbe.gov/ossite. Or, keep reading this article for a full list of locations in Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, and Johnston counties.
Some smaller counties only have one polling place open for early voting, but most have at least a few.
Larger counties have a dozen or more sites, giving people flexibility they might not have on Election Day itself, when people are expected to vote in their assigned precinct. People can find information such as their Election Day precinct and a sample ballot at vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup.
How to vote without queuing?
There’s never a way to guarantee that you won’t have to wait in line to vote. Queues at early voting tend to be shorter than Election Day itself, but they can still vary wildly depending on when you go.
Early voting starts on a Thursday and the first few days of the weekend are usually quite busy. So is the last Saturday. Election officials advise that if you are in a hurry, show up on a weekday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“To avoid longer lines, voters should keep in mind that the busiest early voting days are typically the first and last days of early voting,” the state board of elections says in a statement. an online FAQ. “Voters may find shorter lines during regular office hours.”
Some counties are also taking advantage of technology to allow voters to see wait times at early voting sites in real time. Durham, for example, has a map on its County Board of Elections website that not only shows where early voting sites are, but how long they’ve waited.
Register to vote
Early voting also provides a final opportunity for people to register to vote, if they have not already done so.
The usual deadline to register was Oct. 14, but anyone who missed it can still show up at an early polling location in their county and register, then vote, the same day.
Proof, photo ID can make it easier, but is not required. You should bring something official that shows both your name and address – which could be your driver’s license, or something like a utility bill, pay stub, bank statement or government check .
Vote by mail
For those who cannot or simply prefer not to vote in person, there is also postal voting. It requires no excuse to do it in North Carolina, unlike some other states, so anyone can do it.
Anyone wishing to vote by mail must request a ballot before November 1. For more information on this process, see The News & Observer’s mail-in voting guide or go to www.ncsbe.gov/voting.
Wake County Sites
All of the following Wake County locations are open during early voting from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
▪ Avery Street Leisure Centre: 125 Avery Street, Garner
▪ Cary Senior Center: 120 Maury Odell Pl., Cary
▪ Green Road Community Center: 4201 Green Road, Raleigh
▪ Herbert C. Young Community Center: 101 Wilkinson Avenue, Cary
▪ Hilltop Needmore Town Park and Preserve: 4621 Shady Greens Dr., Fuquay-Varina
▪ John Chavis Memorial Park Community Center: 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Raleigh
▪ John M. Brown Community Center: 53 Hunter Street, Apex
▪ Lynn Lake Community Center: 7921 Ray Road, Raleigh
▪ NCSU Talley Student Union: 2411 Dunn Ave., Raleigh
▪ Northern Regional Center: 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
▪ Optimist Park Community Center: 5900 Whittier Drive, Raleigh
▪ YMCA of Southeast Raleigh: 1436 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh
▪ Wake County Board of Elections Office: 1200 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh
▪ WE Hunt Recreation Center: 301 Stinson Avenue, Holly Springs
▪ Wendell Community Center: 601 W. 3rd St., Wendell
County Durham Sites
All of the following County Durham locations are open during early voting from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
▪ Duke University – Karsh Alumni Center: 2080 Duke University Road, Durham
▪ County Durham Main Library: 300 N. Roxboro Street, Durham
▪ Eastern Regional Library: 211 Lick Creek Lane, Durham, NC 27703
▪ Eno River Unit: 4907 Garrett Road, Durham
▪ NCCU Turner Law Building: 640 Nelson St., Durham, NC 27707
▪ Northern Regional Library: 221 Milton Road, Durham
▪ The River Church: 4900 Prospectus Dr., Durham
▪ South Regional Library: 4505 S. Alston Ave., Durham
Orange County Sites
All of the following locations in Orange County are open during early voting from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
▪ Carrboro City Hall Complex: 108 Bim Street, Carrboro
▪ Chapel of the Cross: 304 E Franklin St., Chapel Hill
▪ Chapel Hill Library: 100 Library Dr., Chapel Hill
▪ Efland Ruritan Club: 3009 Forrest Avenue, Efland
▪ Orange Works at Hillsborough Commons: 113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough
▪ Seymour Senior Center: 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
Johnston County Sites
All of the following locations in Johnston County are open during early voting from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. They will all be closed on Sunday.
▪ Archer Lodge Community Centre: 14009 Buffalo Road, Clayton
▪ American Legion Benson Building: 605 N. Wall St., Benson
▪ Church at Clayton Crossing: 11407 US 70 Bus. West Freeway, Clayton
▪ Cleveland Community Church (C3): 8248 Cleveland Road, Clayton
▪ First Baptist Church Ministry Center: 125 S. Fourth St., Smithfield
▪ Selma Public Library: 301 N. Pollock Street, Selma
▪ WeProject Hall: 106 N. Railroad St., Kenly
Chatham County Sites
All of the following Chatham County sites are open during early voting from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
▪ CCCC Health Science Building: 75 Ballentrae Ct., Pittsboro
▪ Chatham County Agricultural Conference Center: 1192 US-64 Bus., Pittsboro
▪ Goldston City Hall: 40A Coral Ave., Goldston
▪ Paul Braxton Gym: 115 S. 3rd Ave., Siler City
▪ New Hope Baptist Church: 581 New Hope Church Road, Apex