Early voting period ends ahead of NC primary
Posted May 3
RALEIGH, N.C. — Early voting at nearly 300 sites in all 100 North Carolina counties ended at 1 p.m. Saturday.
The State Board of Elections said about 200,000 people had voted early through Friday afternoon. That surpasses the percentage of registered voters who cast ballots early in the last midterm primary in 2010.
Election workers compare turnout figures to 2010 because that was the last non-presidential election year. Presidential elections drive more turnout.
Voters are casting ballots for U.S. Senate, Congress, the legislature, court posts and local seats.
This year's turnout appears to be driven by Republicans. The early-voting period began April 24.
That makes sense given that in 2010, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was coasting to an easy re-election victory, while several Democrats were vying for the chance to take him on. This year, an eight-way U.S. Senate Republican primary has prompted at least $5.4 million in television ad spending. As well, GOP Congressional primaries in the Triad, Triangle and down east have attracted attention.
According to statistics provided by the Board of Elections, roughly 7,074 more Republicans had voted by Friday afternoon this year than in all of 2010's early voting period.