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Early voting for 2020 NC primaries begins at Duke on Thursday, runs throughout February

After Iowa and New Hampshire, the primary season is in full swing. Election fever will soon be making its way to Duke.

After deliberations with the Durham County Board of Elections, Duke has secured an early-voting site for the 2020 N.C. primaries. Early voting and same-day voter registration will take place from Feb. 13-29 in Brodhead 068. 

The site will run from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 12-4 p.m. Sundays. It will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29. 

The N.C. primary itself will take place on Super Tuesday, March 3. Fifteen jurisdictions—including California and Texas—and Democrats Abroad will vote on that day, making it the single day with the most number of delegates up for grabs.

For B.J. Rudell, the associate director of POLIS and a staff member in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the best aspect of early voting is the flexibility and peace of mind it provides. 

“Some days, life gets in the way of scheduled plans,” Rudell said. “But with early voting, students have more than two weeks to vote—a long enough span to accommodate even the busiest Duke students.”

Duke was a strong candidate for an early-voting location because of the strength of turnout on campus during the 2018 midterms. More than 10,000 people voted early at Duke, which demonstrated great access to voters in the eyes of the Board of Elections. 

The ballot features candidates for federal, state and local positions for the primaries. These include spots for presidency, senate, state governor, state treasurer and a number of other positions. Locally, voters will elect the county commissioner and three members of the school board. 

DukeVotes, an organization sponsored by POLIS, has created a tool called BallotReady that aggregates information about the different candidates.

In 2018, North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment to require photo verification for all voters, but a federal injunction in December prevented the bill from taking effect on grounds of discriminatory intent. Therefore, voters do not need photo identification to vote in the primary. 

However, Duke’s administration and POLIS provide options for students to obtain qualifying photo identification and will continue to assist if the injunction is overturned. 

Two Democratic presidential candidates are coming to the Triangle this week to try and rally support in North Carolina. Vermont senator Bernie Sanders will speak Friday at 11:30 p.m. at Durham Convention Center. Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, will visit Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Greensboro Thursday. The Chronicle will cover both events.

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