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jca2's avatar

How is early voting going in your area?

Asked by jca2 (13306points) October 28th, 2020

In my county, there’s only one site for early voting and the reports are that people are on line for 3 to 4 hours.

In the County I work in, a large, populous county, there are 18 sites for early voting and there are many photos posted online and sent by friends showing lines around the block, also 3 to 4 hours long. I work right near the BOE and for the past few days, lines have been wrapped around the block. Everyone is wearing a mask and keeping a distance from each other.

I was considering going late tomorrow, hoping most people might be home for dinner with their families, but now I am considering just waiting until Election Day.

How is it going in your area?

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29 Answers

janbb's avatar

My state is mainly mail in this year. There are no early voting polling places. Only people who have a specific need will be able to use the machines on Election Day and there are fewer polling places. If a person with no specific need shows up at a polling place on Election Day they will get a paper ballot to fill out which will be considered provisional until it is checked against mail ins.

JLeslie's avatar

Did your polls just open in the last 3 days?

Every election I see people rush out on the first day of early voting and queue up. I just shake my head. By day three the lines are 5 minutes or less. That’s what happened here where I live. I’m pretty sure that’s all over Florida. My in-laws handed in their ballot at an early voting location a week ago in Palm Beach County and no line at all.

Friends in Tennessee are saying the same about the first few days there are lines.

The news knows it. I see them reporting from locations the first day the polls open.

On Facebook I was saying the same thing about wait a few days and one person said “it’s called enthusiasm.” I think some people like to wait on line, I mean that with all seriousness.

Usually, I would recommend not waiting until Election Day. In my experience Election Day gets a big turnout just like the first few days of voting. Although, you only have one early voting location in the entire county? That seems crazy. Are you sure 2:00 in the afternoon is long lines?

I would feel uncomfortable waiting for Election Day, because if something goes wrong (God forbid) you don’t get to vote.

hmmmmmm's avatar

There was one location open in our town when we went a couple of Saturdays ago. When we arrived, the line was approximately 1.5 hours long, so we left. When we returned a few hours later, it was much shorter and we were done in 15 minutes.

jca2's avatar

@JLeslie: In the county I live in, there’s only one location for early voting. However, on Election Day, each town has at least one location. I emailed the County Executive yesterday and suggested that maybe they should open more locations for early voting, but it’s probably too late now with Election Day only a week away. It’s not a huge county but they should have put more than one site for early voting.

In the county I work in (the county right next to mine), there are 18 sites for early voting but on Election Day, there are more for each town, depending on factors such as population.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My county is in the NE suburban Atlanta area. There have been something like 12–14 early voting sites, mostly in county-owned community and recreation centers, which are distributed well across the county.

The first couple days (two weeks ago) they had long, long lines (2–3 hours) at the early voting centers. The last week and a half, vote waiting times are in the 15–20 minute range, except right at the after-work rush hour when people stop on their way home from work.

The local rag says that turnout for advance voting is much heavier than in previous years.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Missouri doesn’t allow early voting.

That being said, if your city or county does not have a mask ordinance, you are allowed to vote in the metro area with little other justification needed.

We have record numbers of absentee voting.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca2 That’s shocking your county didn’t plan additional sights for early voting. If I remember correctly NYS only started having early voting very recently. Maybe the last few years? Or, maybe that was only in NYC, I’m just thinking about my aunt and sister not having the option, but I’m not sure how long ago.

To run the polls they need people able to do the work. Maybe they had trouble recruiting people?

@KNOWITALL I didn’t realize there are still states not doing any early voting.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie We don’t usually have it.

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Interesting. It probably costs the state more to have early voting. Maybe that’s why.

@KNOWITALL Thanks! I actually have looked at that site for other voting information by state, it’s a great website. I never looked up early voting, because I thought every state has it now.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

First day of early voting in North Carolina (October 15th), my county had lines 4 to 5 hours long. Has since dropped to 40 minutes or less. 56% of voters were registered Democrats and 22% were registered Republicans with remainder not affiliated !

45 percent of North Carolina’s registered voters have already cast ballots in this year’s election (Today is October 28th).

Four more days of early voting.

North Carolina is considered a must win for Trump.

JLeslie's avatar

Do the lines include people turning in their mail-in ballots?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Turnout is huge. It is likely that most Wisconsin votes will be early/absentee this year.

Wisconsin early voting is “absentee in person”. It’s submitting an absentee ballot, in an envelope which has to be signed by a the voter and a witness. It leaves a lot of room for error and disputing a ballot on technicalities.

I expect you will hear a lot about it in the days and weeks after November 3, as Republicans fight to discard the ballots of voters in Milwaukee, Madison, and every other Democrat-leaning district.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie No there is a separate entrance for drop off of mail-in ballots. In and out for them.

LostInParadise's avatar

Pennsylvania does not have in-person early voting, but allows voters to request ballots by mail. They have a Web site where you can track the progress of your ballot. I did not receive a ballot until a week and a half after the site said that it was mailed out. I mailed it last Saturday and by Monday the site said that the ballot was received and the status was “vote recorded”.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There are about 10 sites open in my county and they are busy. 30 minute wait today.

Jeruba's avatar

People have been returning their mail ballots around here for weeks. My husband and I mailed ours at the main post office a week ago, and my son a week before that.

I just checked the online county ballot tracker and saw that our ballots had been received and counted.

Everybody, please look carefully when you mark your ballots. There are always some voters who are too hasty and unwittingly mark a box they didn’t intend to.

As for people who start fires in ballot collection boxes—I read of one in Southern California and one in Boston, right by the BPL in Copley Square—for shame. I hope life deals them justice, if there even is such a thing any more.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I voted in Tennessee two days ago. There were three early voting locations available to choose from. The whole process, including waiting, took less than ten minutes, and met all COVID-19 standards. Well done TN.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I voted on the first day, October 19. Took 15 minutes. They were consistently busy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The line was still about 30 minutes long today so I used my absentee ballot. Done.
I am proudly wearing my “I Voted” sticker.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JLeslie There are no lines to turn in your mail-in ballots. It is instant. You just walk up to the box protected by 2 different poll workers and drop it in.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy In August I dropped off my ballot at a polling center and they made me go upstairs in the elevator (an elevator! Small space and touch the buttons) give it to a poll worker, she wrote down our names on a list, and then I could finally leave. If there had been a line they would have expected me to wait in it. I think a separate kind thang the main line, but still.

I voiced my frustration that there was no place to leave it in the lobby on the main level. Maybe it’s fixed now for this election.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Apparently we have the only unmanned ballot box in the world.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III No, I’m pretty sure California official boxes are unmanned, Oregon, probably a lot of states.

Goldenfish's avatar

My family have tradition turn in ballots directly versus into ballot boxes. I think if I were calculate I have two props wrong this year but it won’t matter. Not like going harm the world. It might make my mother mad but for me I think Newsom already releasing prisoners who both non-lethal and super lethal back into community so that measure I think was pointless, one prop called if you had means allow them vote I think he probably veto it without our vote anyway.
Other was tax saving prop two different confusing ads on tv. Which doesn’t means the same thing.

dabbler's avatar

Early voting started last Saturday in New York State. in southern Manhattan we went to line up for the first day first hour with a couple thousand fellow stubborn knuckleheads who felt compelled to get it done ASAP. The polling place was well-organized and staff were accommodating people at a reasonable rate. Everyone in line had a face-covering on and people kept a proper distance. Our line snaked all the way around two lovely classic West SOHO blocks to reach the polling place, leaving gaps at restaurants who have most of their active seating in pens in the street outside at this time. It was very civilized. No we didn’t have to go for the first hour first day, but I’m glad we did it.

While walking around afterward we saw some people also wearing “I VOTED EARLY” stickers. They were in the adjacent zone that serves NYU/Washington Square area and they said they waited only a half hour there.

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler Why? Why first day early in the morning? I don’t get why people want to wait on that long line. Aren’t lines shorter now?

dabbler's avatar

@JLeslie hey we didn’t “want” to wait in a long line. We felt it was symbolically useful to vote early on the first day it was available. Note that I include myself in the “couple thousand fellow knuckleheads” who had the same thing in mind. It’s like joining a protest march that won’t accomplish anything itself directly but declares an alignment with stated principles.

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler If you go the first day in the morning there will be a line. You basically choose to stand on line doing it. You say yourself it’s a statement. Which I guess I can get behind except the liberal bias media reports it like there isn’t sufficient voting places set up, which often is not the case, but in the OP’s case it happens to be the truth. I haven’t seen her county on the national news though. Probably because it’s not a swing state.

If you have flexibility in your schedule why not wait a few days or go in the late afternoon? I have no idea if you do. Some people have very little flexibility in their schedule.

When Apple releases a new product I never line up to buy it (in fact this really pisses me off, because it tells Apple their groupies will pay anything). I don’t go to Disney when the doors first open in the morning to the general public. When people visited me in Memphis and wanted to go to Graceland we went around 1:00–2:00 in the afternoon when most people were leaving. I never lined up opening night for a new release movie.

I just don’t understand it.

The OP has a different situation since there is a long line daily, but even she is thinking of waiting for Election Day because if it.

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