Early voting begins for elections in hundreds of North Carolina municipalities

Published 11:32 am Monday, October 23, 2023

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Fall elections in hundreds of North Carolina municipalities are picking up as early in-person voting begins for mayoral races and city council seats.

The State Board of Elections says over 460 cities, towns and villages are conducting elections that culminate Nov. 7 in places like Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Durham and Fayetteville. All but 80 of them provide early voting that began Thursday and runs through Nov. 4. Mail-in absentee voting had already started in those early-vote locales.

Some municipalities held primary or general elections in September and October. Voters in those races were among the first to have to comply with the state’s new photo identification requirement, which was upheld by the state Supreme Court in April.

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State elections executive director Karen Brinson Bell said that most voters so far this year have been able to present qualifying IDs, although some have used the exception form to cast a ballot. The big test for voter identification will come during presidential-year elections in 2024.

Citizens who live where early voting is happening can also register to vote and cast a ballot at voting sites through what’s called same-day registration.