Friday, 16 October 2020 00:12

North Carolina voters turn out for first day of early voting

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North Carolina voters turn out for first day of early voting RO file photo

RALEIGH — North Carolina voters turned out in droves on the weather-friendly first day of the early voting period Thursday, with nearly 230,000 ballots cast across the state as of 5:30 p.m.

With a couple hours of voting to go, that number easily surpassed the total for the entire first day of early voting in 2016, when about 166,000 ballots were cast statewide.

Aside from long wait times at some voting sites, voters experienced few disruptions across the state.

As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, nearly 553,000 mail-in ballots had been accepted in North Carolina. Combined with early voting numbers, more than 782,000 North Carolinians have already voted in the general election, about 11% of registered voters.

“The State Board is glad to see North Carolina voters taking advantage of the different options to cast a ballot,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The county boards of elections and election workers worked diligently to ensure a successful first day of early voting. We thank them for their heroic efforts.”

At the Board of Elections office site in Henderson County, nearly 1,900 voters had cast ballots by 6 p.m., the most of any site in the state. Elections Director Karen Hebb said neighboring businesses were graciously allowing voters to park in their lots and live music was played outside.

“We’re getting voters in and out and we’re so happy to do it,” Hebb said.

The in-person early voting period for the 2020 general election ends Oct. 31.

Voters may cast a ballot at any early voting site in their county. For sites and hours, use the One-Stop Early Voting Site Search tool: All 100 counties will offer weekend voting options throughout early voting.

For Early Voting Tips, visit