By Harley Nefe
Director of Watauga County Board of Elections Matt Snyder said over 5,000 people voted by Absentee by Mail or through the One Stop Early Voting sites on the first day of early voting, which was Thursday, Oct. 15.
“It went great,” Snyder said. “We are so pleased with the turnout we had. Every site we had was busy. Everybody had a line in the morning. But after that initial rush has subsided, it was still steady at all of our sites. And most of our sites did at least what they had done in the past and some of the rural sites were well beyond what they have ever done in a day.”
October 15, 2020 – DAY 1 -Watauga County NC One Stop Early Voting Totals
Administration Building: 638
App State: 794
Blowing Rock: 356
Deep Gap: 502
Western Watauga Community Center: 355
With Deep Gap’s voting site having 502 votes cast, the number is at least four times what they normally do in a day, Snyder said.
He also said the Foscoe site, which is new, usually only cast 20-30 votes a day. Yesterday, their number was 218.
“I’m glad folks are taking advantage of the early voting sites,” Snyder said. “It alleviates pressure for Election Day and gives them a chance to pick a time that’s good for them, and if there’s a line they can always come back or go to another site that is not as busy. I highly encourage people to continue to take advantage of all the hours and days we are offering early voting because that’s what you should do this year. You should get out and vote either by mail or at one of our one stop sites.”
The Watauga County Board of Elections is still receiving envelopes of mailed-in ballots.
In addition, Snyder said Curbside Voting seemed to be doing well yesterday.
“I want to give a really big thanks to all of the election officials and staff that are working through this despite the Covid concerns,” Snyder said. “We couldn’t do it without them, and we are so grateful. We have had so many citizens in Watauga County step up for the first to come out and help us with the elections. We really appreciate it and they’ve done a wonderful job, and I’m just tickled pink that we got those folks in our county.”
Watauga County has six early-voting locations:
Watauga County Administration Building, Commissioners’ Board Room
814 W. King Street, Boone
Appalachian State University, Plemmons Student Union – Blue Ridge Ballroom
263 Locust Street, Boone
Blowing Rock Town Hall
1036 Main Street, Blowing Rock
Deep Gap Fire Department
6583 Old 421 South, Deep Gap
High Country Vacation Homes (Foscoe)
520 Church Road, Boone
Western Watauga Community Center
1081 Old U.S. Highway 421, Sugar Grove
Watauga County early voting hours:
October 15-30: 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
October 17 and October 24: 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
October 31: 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.