On Halloween, the Guilford County Board of Elections ended the in-person early voting part of the election.
Even though elections department staff saw a record number of voters in a year that’s thrown many curveballs straight at the department, staff and volunteers pulled it off without any incidents of note – which is exactly what you want to see in an election.
There’s still plenty of work ahead for the county’s elections staff and for election board members – and who knows what might happen on November 3 in this insane year of 2020. However, this weekend, after early voting wrapped up, Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt was relieved due to the success at this point in the process.
“It really did go well,” Collicutt said of early voting in Guilford County. “I was very pleased.”
It wasn’t easy because it was held during a pandemic, a lot of former election workers did not take part because of that pandemic, and the county was forced by the state to switch to a completely new ballot system this year.
But the only snafu to speak of came when the remnants of Hurricane Zeta knocked out power at several polling places. The county had already planned for that eventuality.
“The power outages were challenging – but we were well prepared,” Collicutt said.
Backup generators were brought in until power could be restored. It’s a good thing too, because in one case it took days to get the regular power back.
“GTCC-Cameron didn’t get power until late Saturday,” Collicutt said.
There was one annoyance that was common in early voting, long lines. Typically, lines are long for the first few days of the early voting period and on the final day. However, due to terrific voter turnout this year, long lines often existed at times when one might have expected no line at all in years past. Things did calm down as the end of early voting drew near, however.
On Friday, Oct. 30, at Lewis Recreation Center in Greensboro, for instance, (seen above), there was about a 20-minute wait at lunchtime.