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Follow the latest news and information about voting and the 2020 election, including essential information about how to vote during a pandemic and more.

Voters In The Carolinas In Their Own Words

The economy and local issues are just some of the topics that drove North Carolinians out to the polls on Election Day.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor Denton felt safe casting her ballot in person.

“I’m a small business owner, so especially for me, just trying to figure out what’s next, with everything going on,” says Denton who cast her ballot at the Greater Galilee Baptist Church in South End. “It’s a big deal to vote. It’s our future.”

First-time voter Rose Hunter also cast a ballot at the Greater Galilee Baptist Church. She says she was pleasantly surprised with the short wait time.

“I was actually out of the state, so I wasn’t able to vote, and I kind of regretted it,” Hunter said of missing the last election. “I was thinking there was going to be long lines, and that maybe I was gonna be here all day, but that really wasn’t the case at all.”

Jabari Kelly says that he focused on local issues to make his decisions this election.

“For the most part, the big decisions, local is very important,” Kelly says. “I feel like there’s infrastructure that we really need to fix in Charlotte, and needs funding.”

At Bishop Spaugh Middle School, Constance Patterson says that she voted for not only 2020, but the years to follow.

“It’s important for all of us to vote for what we believe and what we want better for our lives and for our children” says Patterson, who recently moved to Charlotte from Atlanta. “We have to cast (a ballot) for people that’s caring, that want to see us go forth in a positive way. [It] doesn’t matter what color we are, that’s the kind of people we need right now.”

At Lawrence Orr Elementary, Chiquita Ravenel cast a vote with her children in mind -- and with her at the polls.

“My kids, they need to know that it’s important,” Ravenel says. “If I don’t show them that it’s important and let them walk through the process with me, they won’t know. And anybody can go up and tell them it doesn’t matter and their vote don’t count, when like I just showed them — their vote counts.”

At Tuckaseegee Elementary School in Charlotte, Greg Brown, who is a reverend, was out with Lawyers and Collars as a vote protector.

“Clergy bring a pastoral presence,” Brown says. “We’re supposed to keep a chill vibe going on here to make sure people don’t feel anxious or nervous about voting.”

Brown says his presence was to make people of all parties feel safe and comfortable voting.

“I’m less concerned about how people vote, and I’m much more concerned that people vote so people are represented,” says Brown.

Just across the state in line in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, voters were greeted with shorter lines in the afternoon — which was a change from wait times earlier in the day.

Jerry Bohannon came out to re-elect President Donald Trump. While he says the president does not have the “most pleasurable personality in the world,” he said that doesn’t determine his vote.

“The key point is, which candidate’s policies and prior experience fit your own personal values,” Bohannon said. Issues like small government, lower taxes, strong defense and the Constitution are what decided his vote.

“That’s what I typically vote for, and that’s why I’m voting for President Trump.”

At the same River Hills precinct, Kimberly Gerace also voted.

While most of her family and friends questioned her choice to wait until Election Day, she likes to vote in-person on Election Day to feel connected to the process.

“I hope to see a big change: In the White House, in our state legislation,” Gerace says.

Gerace also said that the contested race between Senator Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison got her out to vote.

“It’s a conservative area so I know I kind of stand out a little bit down here, but things are looking pretty good for Jaime Harrison, so I’m hoping to see some changes there too.”

Over 4.5 million voters cast an absentee ballot in North Carolina, while 1.3 million have voted in South Carolina.

Alexandra Watts is an interim assistant producer on Charlotte Talks. Previously, she worked with WFAE as a Report for America corps member, reporting on local government and community issues through a partnership between WFAE and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.