ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — We’re a little more than a week away from Election Day and because of the pandemic, voting will look different than in years past.
Millions of people across the country have already made it to the polls and if you don’t want to wait until November 3, you still have time to vote early in North Carolina and Virginia.
K. E. White Graduation Center on the Elizabeth City State University campus is the designated location for early voting in Elizabeth City.
People say they’re impressed with the number of people who have already made it out to vote.
“When they come in, and when they understand why it’s important for them to vote — that’s all I need. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, but that makes me high,” said Jackie Latson.
Latson is not a woman to shy away from a stranger, her duty as a citizen, or her age for that matter.
“I’ll be 73 on November 18,” she explained.
Which is why she sets up her tent every morning to encourage people to vote.
“You really have a part in your own well being. You can vote, you can go out and do the right thing. You have a part in how your life ends up,” she said.
Her tent is one of several set up at the K. E. White Graduation Center on ECSU’s campus. Darlette Spencer says it’s been a great opportunity for everyone no matter who you vote for.
“I feel as if giving them at least 15 days ahead of time to vote. It’s great in my eyes and I feel as everyone would have their voice heard and their vote will matter,” said Spencer.
Latson has been keeping count since the first day.
“As of 4:30 p.m. — 9,456 and trust me, that is a real important number,” she said as she read out of her journal.
She says it’s important because she believes it means a lot of people are taking this seriously. While keeping COVID-19 guidelines in mind, she always finds a way to congratulate anyone making their voice heard.
“When I find out that they’re first-time voters, I can’t hug them but I go and give them an elbow because I’m so proud of them,” she said.
The polls in Elizabeth City will be back up starting at 8 a.m. all week and the last day is next Saturday, Oct. 31.
The deadline for voters in North Carolina to request a ballot by mail for the 2020 general election is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
“If you want to vote by mail, please request your ballot now,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “But if you miss the request deadline, you can still vote early in person through October 31 or on Election Day, November 3, at your assigned precinct.”
As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, nearly 780,000 North Carolinians had cast their ballot by mail for the November 3 election, about four times more by-mail voters than 2016.
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