Lines grow as early voting draws to close

Posted November 2, 2012 5:56 p.m. EDT
Updated November 2, 2012 7:17 p.m. EDT

— Lines swelled Friday outside early voting sites around the Triangle as time to cast a ballot before next Tuesday's election dwindled.

As of Friday afternoon, almost 2.39 million votes had been cast statewide, with 93 percent of those as in-person ballots at early voting sites. The total represents more than a third of registered voters in North Carolina and is approaching the 2.64 million early votes cast in 2008.

Voters offered a variety of reasons for choosing to vote early, from other appointments next Tuesday to the potential for bad weather on Election Day.

"We were wondering how long the lines were going to be on Election Day. We figured we both had today off, so we gave it a shot," said Jack Leclair, who voted in Cary on Friday.

Statewide, registered Democrats are still leading among early voters, with more than 1 million ballots cast as of late Thursday. About 720,000 registered Republicans have already voted, as have 450,000 independents.

Early voting ends Saturday, with a number of polling places open until 5 p.m.

Officials advised people who registered with third parties to check with the State Board of Elections website to see if the registration is listed there. If not, they have to register and vote at a one-stop center on Saturday. On Election Day, only people who registered by Oct. 11 will be allowed to vote.