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Originally published: 2013-10-23 12:13:10
Last modified: 2013-10-24 17:50:12

Early voting draws almost 500, so far

One-stop early voting is proving fairly popular for Watauga County voters this season, according to data from the Board of Elections.

As of noon Thursday, 460 people had voted early in municipal races for Boone, Blowing Rock, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils, Board of Elections staff member Larry Henson said.

The totals got a burst Monday afternoon when Democrats coordinated a "March to the Polls" from the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University.

With seven days of early voting still remaining, the tally already exceeds the total number of early votes cast in the 2011 municipal election, when Boone's Town Council race was uncontested. That year, 434 voters cast ballots early, according to state data.

In 2009, 878 people voted early in Watauga County, according to the State Board of Elections. That year, every municipal race was competitive except the Blowing Rock mayor seat.

The board also fed into the ballot box Tuesday 10 new absentee votes by mail, taking the total of mail-in votes to 17 this election cycle.

With the focus on the ongoing election, the Board of Elections also achieved an internal milestone Tuesday. For the first time since the full board was seated in August, the board voted unanimously on every matter for consideration.

The board approved precinct officials for Election Day, minutes from the Oct. 15 meeting and new voter registrations, which totaled 13 since last Tuesday.

The early voting period continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday until Nov. 1 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2. The early voting site is located on the ground floor of the Watauga County Administration Building at 814 W. King St., Boone.

Voters also have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request an absentee ballot by mail from the Watauga County Board of Elections.

Election Day is Nov. 5.