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23 percent locals vote early

More than 2 million North Carolina voters cast their votes early.

While the state is on pace to surpass its voter turnout set in 2014, a non-presidential election, Stanly County voters are also set to eclipse its previous mark.

Tabulations for Early Voting in Stanly show 9,584 voters cast ballots, or nearly 23 percent of the county’s registered voters. In 2014, Stanly’s Early Voting totaled 7,738 ballots.

“It increases every year from election type to election type (non-residential to presidential elections),” said Kimberly Blackwelder, director of Stanly County Elections. “Hopefully, the word has gotten out and more voters are taking advantage of it.”

Early Voting across the state marks a 73 percent increase over the totals in 2014. So far, nearly 29 percent of the state’s registered voters have cast ballots.

“We believe the strong early voting turnout, as well as Saturday’s long lines at some sites, are signs that voters are engaged in 2018. We hope this excitement continues on Election Day,” said Patrick Gannon, public information officer, State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement.

Republican voters are outpacing others in Stanly during Early Voting and where the GOP also holds the most registered voters at approximately 18,500. At about 12,350, unaffiliated voters represent the next highest, followed by Democrats at 10,800.

Early Voting concluded at 1 p.m. Saturday. One Stop began Oct. 17.

The deadline to deliver absentee ballots in-person and overseas/military ballots via email is at 7:30 p.m. today.

Rain with the possibility of storms is forecast for today’s elections, which begin at 6:30 a.m. with polls closing at 7:30 p.m.