Rural voters make the drive to vote early in Randolph County

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ASHEBORO, N.C. — North Carolina has seen record early voting numbers 48 hours into the 16 day-voting window. Randolph County has seen one of the largest turnouts in history despite having limited voting locations.

A long wait time was the reality for voters to get into the board of elections site on Highway 220 in Asheboro. Some voters only drove a couple of miles while others had to spend close to 30 minutes in the car.

One voter, Thelma Elrod drove about 12 miles to get to the Randolph County Board of Elections voting site.

“It’s very important for the people to vote and vote as soon as you can,” Elrod said.

That’s half the time the Welch family spent commuting from farther out in the county.

“We live 25 mil​es from here and this is the closest location for us to come vote,” Mark Welch said.

The family said making the trip is long, but they wanted to vote. It’s a drive a lot of voters are making this year.

“We have people who come from all over the county to all of our sites, but Asheboro is very popular because it is our largest site,” Randolph County Board of Elections Director Melissa Johnson said.

There are only four one-stop early voting locations in Randolph County. Johnson said early voting sites are picked based on population density and availability of space. Drive patterns are factored into where sites are now.

“People don’t seem to mind driving to go to early voting,” she said. “A lot of people would rather vote early than even go to their polling place on Election Day.”

Twenty-two voting sites will open up on Election Day across Randolph County including the southern areas where there are no early voting locations. If you prefer to not vote in person you can do it by mail.

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