Early voting is a big hit in Wake County again this year, with more than 190,000 people casting ballots as of Wednesday night.
Wake County’s early voting ends Saturday. According to unofficial totals, 190,356 people have voted early. If the trend continues, election officials say this year’s early voting numbers could equal or surpass the 251,332 who voted early in 2008.
Gary Sims, deputy director of the Wake County Board of Elections, said more voters tend to show up during the last few days of early voting.
Despite some reports of complaints and problems, Sims said most people have not had trouble voting. Instead, they are complaining about the people campaigning outside the voting sites. Electioneering is not permitted within 50 feet of a voting location, but outside those boundaries, election officials cannot stop campaigners.
“They don’t want to hear all the politics and stuff,” Sims said. “That’s why those complaints come in during bigger elections. Those longer lines push people out past the 50-foot [line].”
“They probably should call the political party or the candidates themselves, because there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.
Several early voting locations are open Thursday and Friday. Many will also be open from 11 a.m. To 5 p.m. Saturday. (See the list of early voting sites open.)