EASTERN WAKE COUNTY — In last week’s municipal elections, it appeared entire precincts in Wendell and Knightdale chose not to vote.
But the Wake County Board of Election transferred voters from those precincts to others, said Gary Sims, the county’s deputy director of elections.
In Wendell, precinct 10-04, which is the town’s largest precinct geographically, reported zero voters in last Tuesday’s election. The same happened in Knightdale’s 17-06 precinct, which votes at the Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue Department.
Instead, those voters cast their ballots at Carver Elementary School in Wendell and Hodge Road Elementary in Knightdale.
If the county anticipates low turnout at a polling place, it will save money by merging precincts.
“If it looks like we don’t have very many voters in an area, sometimes we will take and transfer those voters,” Sims said.
The Board of Elections posted legal notices and notified voters by mail before Election Day to make sure they knew which polling place they should report to.
Merging precincts can be the most efficient way to manage polling places, Simssaid.
On the Wake County Board of Elections website, results pages show those merged precincts as having no votes. Sims said the board doesn’t take them offline because the precincts aren’t being permanently deleted.
For purposes of calling the election, the Board of Elections counted those votes in the precinct in which they were cast. Later, when the board begins to compile data from the ballots, it will count those votes in their original precinct.
In 2011, Wendell and Knightdale both had mayoral races. That year, Knightdale was divided into nine precincts, and Wendell had eight precincts.
Wendell had 1,398 votes in the 2011 commissioners’ race and 822 in the mayoral race. Knightdale had 2,957 votes for council seats and 1,683 votes for the mayoral race.
Last week, Angier, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs and Morrisville also merged some precincts.
Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews