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Early voting turnout is down compared to 2016

Early voting is down across the county this election compared to the same time in 2016, according to Kimberly Blackwelder, director of elections for Stanly County.

When comparing voter turnout on the first day of early voting, 215 people came out Feb. 13 compared to 475 people who voted during the first day in March 2016. Blackwelder pointed out that there were four polling sites in 2016 compared to two sites this year.

“It has been slower in this cycle than in comparable cycles previously,” Blackwelder said, though she’s not sure what the reasons are.

As of the close of polls Monday, 692 people in the county had voted — 450 in Albemarle and 242 in Locust. The next day the number picked up, as 938 people voted as of Tuesday night.

She is hopeful that early voting will pick up, considering people have until Feb. 29.

People wanting to vote can go to two locations: Stanly County Commons in Albemarle (1000 N. 1st St.) and Joel Huneycutt Community Room in Locust (186 Ray Kennedy Dr.). Voting is open weekdays from 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The primary will be on March 3 from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Blackwelder said people need to participate in the primary of the party they are registered with. People can also engage in same-day voter registration during the early voting period as long as they provide some form of proof of residence.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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