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October 20
​New Tool Helps Early Voters in Wake County Avoid Long Wait Times

Twenty locations open every day through Oct. 31

With thousands turning out daily to vote early, the Wake County Board of Elections is piloting a new tool to help residents avoid long lines at polling sites, and better plan when and where they cast their ballots.

Launched today on WakeVotesEarly.com, the tool provides voters with easy access to estimated wait times at each of the county’s 20 early voting locations. Staff updates the wait times at least once per hour.

“We’re excited, because with one click, residents can now see which early voting sites have shortest wait times, and decide instantly if it’s better to stay closer to home or to drive to another location to early vote,” said Wake County Board of Elections Director Gary Sims. “It should save them time and alleviate any frustrations that can come with waiting in long lines.”

This is the first time the county has offered an early voting wait time estimator. Therefore, the design and functionality of the tool may change over time, as staff incorporate feedback from the public to make it even better. That’s why it’s currently considered a pilot project.

In addition to checking the tool, voters can also save time by studying their ballots before going to the polls. There are so many races and candidates that both sides of the 17-inch ballots are filled. You can check your voter registration and download a sample ballot customized to your address at ReadyToVote.com.

Historically, the hours around lunchtime are busiest during early voting, and the last few days of early voting have drawn the biggest crowds.

As of Monday night, more than 100,000 Wake County voters had already taken advantage of the 20 early voting locations. All early voting locations are open every day, now through Halloween, during the following hours:

  • Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.;
  • This Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.;
  • Sundays from 1–6 p.m.; and
  • On the final day, Saturday, Oct. 31, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Because of the pandemic, voters will be provided masks, hand sanitizer and single-use pens to mark their ballots. Election officials will wear protective gear, sanitize surfaces between voters and ensure everyone adheres to social distancing guidelines.

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