GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Early voting starts less than 48 hours from now in North Carolina. Election leaders are gearing up for an influx of voters to come out to the polls.
Guilford County has had many voters to participate in absentee voting and could see even larger numbers participate in early voting come this Thursday.
We’re going to have a big first day, I just know we are, but if the voters are patient, we will get through it,” said Charlie Collicott, Guilford County’s election director.
Collicutt says they are prepared to keep voters safe during this pandemic. They’re encouraging voters to be patient, abide by social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings.
“We’re going to have areas marked on the carpet as far out as we can get outside to make sure the voters do socially distance. Inside, our workers are going to be wearing masks, gloves and having partitions. We’re going to be sanitizing after all voters are done using them,” Collicutt said.
Just this week, voters in Georgia had a record-breaking early voting turnout. Numerous videos showed voters waiting in long lines and taking hours to vote.
Here in Guilford County, they’re trying to curb those types of issues by providing 25 sites spread out throughout the county. The county has never had this many sites before and they’re hoping this will give voters more options to social distance.
“My hope is that the number of voters that come out spread themselves out over this 17-day period and if we see that then we will be OK but there are going to be days and times where we’re going to get huge clusters at some of these sites. And it’s going to look worse than it is,” Collicutt said.
Early voting runs from Oct. 15-31. Each site’s weekday hours are from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s important to note on the last early vote day, the hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Click here to find the nearest early voting site near you.