Stanly County’s early voting is outpacing 2018 midterm numbers

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, November 1, 2022

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With early voting almost finished, the number of in-person and mail-in absentee ballots are outpacing 2018 midterm election numbers.

Early voting began Oct. 20 and lasts until 3 p.m. Saturday, for a total of 13 days. That’s three fewer than 2018, but it hasn’t affected turnout so far, election data show. People can vote in-person at the Stanly County Commons and the Locust Town Center.

As of Nov. 4, 9,220 people have voted, representing about 21 percent of Stanly’s 43,756 registered voters, including 8,833 who cast ballots in-person. Of the total, 54 percent have been Republicans, 27% have been unaffiliated and 19% have been Democrats.

Through the first 11 days in 2018, by comparison, 5,858 people voted, including 5,621 who voted in-person at Stanly County Commons. During the 16 days of early voting, 9,578 people voted.

“The turnout is definitely higher for one-stop voting than it was four years ago at this point,” said Stanly County Director of Elections Kimberly Blackwelder, adding that due to the large numbers of people that have already voted, she is not sure if there will still be a large mass that will come out to vote on Election Day, as there have been in the past.

Absentee voting by mail is down this year compared to 2020, Blackwelder said, when more people stayed home due to the pandemic. “Now we’re going back to the more normal levels of the by-mail voting,” she said. A total of 302 people have voted absentee by mail this year.

White people, which make up about 84% of the county population, according to U.S. Census data, have accounted for about 87% of the early vote, while Black people, which comprise 12% of the population, have accounted for about 7% of the vote.

As of Friday, more than 1.7 million North Carolina residents have already voted, up from the 1.6 million that cast ballots this same time four years ago. Roughly 24 percent of the state’s 7.4 million registered voters have already voted.

Polling places are open on Election Day (Nov. 8) from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Voters that are in line and waiting to vote at 7:30 p.m. will be permitted to cast a ballot.

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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