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Early Voting Lags Last 2 Presidential Years; Number Of Sites Expands

Early voting lines at Charlotte's Veterans Park in 2012.
Jennifer Lang

The number of early votes cast in Mecklenburg County for the Nov. 8 election is behind the pace of early voting in the past two presidential elections, according to figures from the county board of elections. Turnout numbers should start rising faster: More early voting sites opened across North Carolina Thursday. That's welcome news for voters who were deterred by long lines at some polling sites last week.

As of Wednesday, the sixth day of early voting, 79,037 people had cast their ballots in the county. After six days in 2012, when Barack Obama was re-elected, the total was 91,156. In 2008, the comparable figure was 89,542.

In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, the number of early voting sites expanded Thursday from 10 to 22 sites. That's the same number of sites as 2012. And like four years ago, there are 17 days of early voting in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Statewide, early voting sites increased from 250 to 400.

The county totals don't count absentee ballots. As of Wednesday, 10,627 mail-in ballots had been approved by county elections officials.

So far Democrats hold an edge over Republicans and unaffiliated voters in votes cast, similar to the last presidential election four years ago. Republicans typically wait until Election Day to vote.

Early voting ends statewide on Nov. 5. After that, you'll have to wait until Election Day, Nov. 8. 


See a list of early voting sites, hours and voter information at MeckBOE.org

Outside of Mecklenburg, go to the state board of elections site, NCSBE.gov, or your county elections board.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.