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The 2022 midterm elections are the first of the Biden era. They're also the first since the 2020 census, which means there are new congressional districts. There are U.S. Senate races in the Carolinas as well, along with many state and local races.

Early voter turnout up slightly in NC ahead of Tuesday's election

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More than 2.1 million North Carolinians have already cast votes ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections either by mail or at early voting sites, according to data released Sunday by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

That's about 4% higher than at this point in the 2018 midterm elections.

Early voters this year have been older on average compared to 2018, and the percentage of Democrats and African American voters is down slightly, according to Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University.

Voters are deciding a key Senate race between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd, as well as many local races and ballot initiatives.

There are also races that will determine which party will control the North Carolina Supreme Court, and Republicans are trying to reclaim supermajorities in the state House and Senate. That would allow them to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Polls will open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Voters do not need to present a photo ID to vote in North Carolina, and voters are allowed to use their cellphones inside voting booths to look up information about candidates.

Voters can find a sample ballot and look up where to vote at NCSBE.gov.

People who plan to vote by mail must have their ballots postmarked or hand-delivered to their local board of elections office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal