ASHEBORO — An early voting site for the Archdale and Trinity areas is moving to a new location to help alleviate congestion and create a smoother voting experience, the director of the Randolph County Board of Elections said.
The board gave its approval Monday to move the one-stop early voting site to the former Braxton Craven School gym for this spring’s primary.
The new location is near Trinity High School. The address is 3037 N.C. Highway 62, Trinity.
This is 3.2 miles from the previous location in Archdale.
Early voting is scheduled from April 28-May 14.
Board director Melissa Johnson said gaining more room was a priority.
Based on turnouts for the 2020 general election, it became clear to some board members that a different location should be sought, Johnson said. She said concerns from representatives of both major political parties also factored into seeking a different site.
“We had just an enormous number of people coming for that election and we also had a need for more curbside voting,” Johnson said. “We really didn’t have enough room. We just wanted to be making sure we had the most space available.”
The past location was at 213 Balfour Dr. in Archdale. It’s a Randolph County-owned building that also houses some offices for the county health department and the Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce.
At the former Braxton Craven School, which most recently had been a middle school, there should be more parking available. The set-up also will make it easier to have a better entrance and exit so those can be separate.
There’s also more space for covered areas that should make it more comfortable as voters wait for their turn at the voting booths.
With early voting lasting several weeks, a venue that could accommodate an extended period was needed, Johnson said.
She said there will be extensive signage to direct voters to the site, though she said many community members are familiar with the location because of the school.
Johnson said several issues wouldn’t have been solved at the Balfour Drive site, while making some accommodations to adjust the flow in the voting process there would have cost $8,000-$10,000, so moving was the ideal solution.
Plus, the parking situation at the past location tended to be split in different areas. That sometimes meant quite a bit of uncertainty about where campaigners might focus their efforts.
This is the only change in voting locations in the county for this election cycle, Johnson said.