United States News North Carolina More than 1 million North Carolinians have already voted...

More than 1 million North Carolinians have already voted in the 2020 election


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As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, North Carolina voters had cast 570,019 ballots by mail and 468,020 ballots in-person.

RALEIGH, N.C. — With a strong turnout from mail-in and early voters, North Carolina Friday eclipsed more than one million votes cast in the 2020 general election.

With more than two weeks until Election Day, more than 14% of registered voters have already cast ballots. 

“We’re glad to see so many North Carolina voters performing their civic duty and letting their voice be heard by voting,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We look forward to more North Carolinians casting their ballot and staying safe while doing so.”

RELATED: Early voting in North Carolina is underway: Here’s what you need to know

Voters eager to cast their ballots in-person, began showing up at early voting sites across North Carolina Thursday.

RELATED: Here is where you can early vote in Mecklenburg County

The in-person early voting period began Thursday and ends October 31. 

On Friday, voters Rita Sherrod went out looking for shorter lines than Thursday’s record number of people because the lines on the first day were too intimidating.

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“Yes, yes I saw them,” Sherrod said, “some people, like my friend, stayed in line like two and a half hours.”

Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, said the amount of voters broke a state record.

“That is going back to 2008, the largest one day number in the states history,” Bitzer said. 

Bitzer says at this rate, Election Day will only see a limited number of voters.

“We could expect maybe 20-30% of the ballots cast on election day,” Bitzer said.

North Carolina can process votes early. Bitzer said North Carolinians should see the first absentee results on Election Day.

COMPLETE ELECTION COVERAGE: The WCNC Charlotte Decision 2020 Elections Center

“I would suspect in the first hour after the polls close, we could see a huge number of votes drop,” Bitzer said.

Still, Bitzer says that won’t indicate the winner.

“I would be careful because often times while democrats in the bulk of the ballots are done in person early, on election day it generally tends to favor republicans,” Bitzer said.

Those voting by absentee ballot in North Carolina, must have their envelope postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. The envelope most arrive at the local county board of elections office within three days in order to be eligible.

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RELATED: Here’s how you can track your absentee ballot in the Carolinas

Absentee ballots can also be hand delivered to your local county board of elections office on or before Election Day.

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