GOP primary interest appears to drive early voting increase

Posted May 2, 2014

— Interest in the high-profile Republican U.S. Senate primary appears to be driving increased participation in early voting this year.

The N.C. Board of Elections announced that more voters have cast in-person early ballots for this year's primary already than did during all of the 2010 early primary period. The total is up even though another day remains to early vote this year and 2010's early voting period was a week longer than this year's. 

"We are encouraged by the strong showing despite severe weather across our state," said Board of Elections Director Kim Westbrook Strach.  

Early Voting Figures

Party2014 Turnout*2010 TurnoutChange from 2010
Republican 62,784 55,710 7,074
Democrat 90,045 88,565 1,480
Libertarian 164 64 100
Unaffiliated 35,587 28,633 6,954
Total 188,580 172,972 15,608
Source: N.C. State Board of Elections

*2014 figures as of cloase of business Thursday.

Election workers compare turnout figures to 2010 because that was the last non-presidential election year. Presidential elections drive more turnout. 

This year's turnout appears to be driven by Republicans. 

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.  And including mail-in ballots, roughly 10,000 more unaffiliated voters have voted this year in the Republican primary than Democrats who have voted in the Democratic primary. Unaffiliated voters can choose which party's primary they will vote in. 



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  • Atheistinafoxhole May 6, 2014

    Go Brannon!

  • Nancy Martin May 5, 2014
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    View quoted thread


  • rocket May 5, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Tillis would hardly be an improvement.

  • 68_dodge_polara May 5, 2014

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    Exactly. I know Tillies is going to win the primary because that who the big money backed. Unfortunately I won't be voting for him in the general election because when you look at his actual voting record it's doesn't differentiate him much from a Democrats voting record. So what would be the point of voting for him?

  • unaffiliatedvoter2 May 4, 2014

    This is good news for Dr. Brannon! This demonstrates how fed up republicans are with their RINOs like Tillie...

  • jbc268 May 2, 2014

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    No, you can vote early in person. There are usually a couple places in each county where you can. I don't vote on election day anymore - I always vote early at a one-stop location.

  • Ronnie Reams May 2, 2014
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    They are ABSENTEE ballots. In person voting is only on election day.

  • glarg May 2, 2014

    Are we ever going to get a decent article on the DA race? That is if WRAL can spare time from rewriting press releases from the Sunlight Foundation.

    There appear to be 4 credible DA candidates but I really dont see much reporting on this race.