Polls Open in 2013 General Election

9:26 AM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. in the 2013 General Election, as many voters dropped by their local assigned precincts on their commutes to work or school commitments. Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Guilford County Board of Elections said there are 113 precincts open in Guilford County. The Board said those cost approximately $230,000 to operate, an amount consistent with how much they cost to operate two years ago. Guilford Co. uses primarily touch-screen ballots, which were apparent at the Page High School precinct in Greensboro. The Board of Elections said staff is available to help individuals who are not familiar with touch-screen voting.

Guilford County Board of Elections director Charlie Collicutt said residents of Guilford County need to be mindful of their municipalities. If they live in High Point or the unincorporated part of the county, they are not eligible to vote in the Guilford County General Election.

Related: Election Day 2013: 5 Things to Watch

In Forsyth County, there are 97 precincts open. Those cost approximately $180,000 to operate, according to the Board of Elections. Forsyth County uses paper ballots for its General Election. All city elections in the county are non-partisan, with the exception of Winston-Salem.

The Guilford County Elections Board said results of early voting in that county were "on par" with what it saw two years ago. According to the Forsyth County Board of Elections, early voting turnout was slightly higher than it was in the last General Election. Regardless, Collicutt said it is hard to predict voter turnout.  However, he said because this is not a year in which there is a presidential race, he suspected there would not be significant overall turnout.

"People just don't always see or feel the effects of the local government on their everyday lives, which may or may not be true. But, I think that's the perception, and that's what leads us to having low turnout in these type of elections," Collicutt said.

But, he said turnout numbers should not suggest that people's votes are not important. "Local elections do have a big impact on your life. If you want to have some influence over that, as to who's elected in your town or city, then you do need to come out and vote," he said.

Collicutt said voters do need to be mindful about other provisions before they head to the polls. The new voter ID law does not go into effect until 2016. Additionally, Boards of Elections are not providing transportation to the polls.

If voters need rides to the polls, Collicutt said, "One thing they can do is call the candidate they support or call the party that they're affiliated with. I know this (General Election) is non-partisan, but I think the parties still will be active with voters, so if anybody has questions, call those organizations first, and hopefully, they can get these voters to the poll."

Collicutt and Forsyth County Board of Elections Director Robert Coffman said anyone with questions should call his or her local Board of Elections.

When results are in, WFMY News 2 will have up-to-the-minute coverage in evening newscasts, on digtriad.com, on Facebook and on Twitter (@digtriad).

WFMY News 2

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