Early voting a resounding success at WCU

The voting site at the Jackson County Board of Elections, November 4, 2016. Photo by Amber Degree.

The voting site at the Jackson County Board of Elections, Nov. 4, 2016. Photo by Amber Degree.

Zane Perkins and Amber Degree contributed to the reporting of this story

Since early voting began in Jackson County on Oct. 27, nearly 40 percent of registered voters have cast their ballot.

As of 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, there were 11, 277 total votes accounted for, with over 2,300 at WCU, and over 1,500 at the Jackson County recreation center, according to statistics from the Jackson County Board of Elections.

UNC Asheville has had almost 1000 more voters than WCU.

“They’ve been open seven days longer than we have. They opened on Oct. 20, we opened on Oct. 27,” said Andrew Goodman Fellow, Joanna Woodson.

The voting center at WCU has been filled with students and was even visited by Chancellor David Belcher, who cast his vote.

“I’m so proud of WCU, not just for hosting this polling place, but because so many people are voting here,” said Belcher, in a video on the school’s Facebook page.

There were many students with differing opinions and a wide array of voting choices.

Tori Mckinny , a WCU graduate student, voted for Donald Trump because she said she believes “The appointment of supreme court justices is one of the key issues in this election and one of the biggest things I took into consideration when voting, because I am more conservative when it comes to that issue.”

Mckinny also believes that it is an obligation to vote. “ I definitely think you should vote because it is determining your future. Even if you do not agree with either one completely hopefully you can find a candidate that best aligns with your views”.

Nathan Borschel, a Jackson County resident, has a different view. “In some races, where I don’t know the candidates or the issues, I don’t vote,” he said. “It is your right to vote and you should be encouraged to vote, but you should not be forced to.”

Chief judge at the WCU voting site, Cheryl Kinsland, says the timing of the voting may have had an impact on the results.

“It’s actually been very steady. At times it gets very slow, especially in the late afternoon, so we might want to look so that the next time we do the early voting here, that we may change the hours because after 5 p.m. we don’t see much.”