Raleigh Convergence will stop publishing April 1, 2022. Read more.

Why you should vote early, now.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Raleigh Convergence is no longer publishing, as of April 1, 2022. Read more.

We’re coming up on the last few days of early voting in Wake County and in North Carolina.

Your vote is important: We live in one of the most critical states for federal elections and our local ballot includes county elected officials and an affordable housing bond in Raleigh.

If you haven’t yet voted, it’s time to make a plan to vote. And voting early is your best option. Here’s why:

You can find the shortest line: The last three days (so Thursday, Friday and Saturday) are historically the busiest days of early voting — but that doesn’t mean that waiting until Election Day on Nov. 3 will save you time.

Now, you can check the Wake County Board of Elections wait times spreadsheet, which is updated hourly and shows where lines are likely to be longer or shorter. You can vote at any of the 20 locations in Wake County if you’re eligible to vote in Wake County.

early voting in Wake County sticker
Early voting in Wake County sticker

Wednesday-Friday you can vote 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Saturday you can vote 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Locations.

It’s not too late if you haven’t registered: You can register during early voting and cast your ballot on the same day in North Carolina.

But, if you haven’t yet registered, it’s too late for Election Day voting. Make sure you go to early voting!

We don’t know what Election Day will be like: Maybe it’ll be a rainy day and you won’t feel like it.

But it’s also possible that, despite rules against voter intimidation and harassment, that people will show up to “monitor” voter activity at the polls.

It’s important to know that with the exception of official observers appointed by political parties, no “poll watchers” can be inside a designated buffer zone. Random people can’t challenge if you can vote, or demand you prove your citizenship.

Law enforcement are not permitted at a voting site. No one should be walking around with a “security” badge to attempt to intimidate voters.

The North Carolina NAACP already received notification that some voter intimidation is already happening, ABC11 reports.

UPDATED: The Nov. 12 deadline for your Election Day or before postmarked mail-in ballot will stand.

Consistent with the state elections board’s communications up to now, a US Supreme Court decision will allow mail-in ballots postmarked on Election Day or before to be accepted as late as Nov. 12, the News & Observer reports.

The rules around this election have included a few court cases and challenges, with the remaining question of how late mail-in ballots can be accepted. That’s now resolved.

Previously, rules around correcting errors on the envelope of mail-in ballots briefly paused local elections boards taking action on mail-in ballots with issues.

If you change your mind about voting by mail, you have options. From the State Board of Elections site: “You may still vote in person as long as you did not return your absentee ballot. Your absentee ballot will be spoiled after you vote in person. You may simply discard your absentee ballot — there is no need to bring it with you to a polling place.”

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VOTER GUIDE: Your questions about voting in Wake County, answered.

Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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