Almost 6 percent of all registered Stanly voters cast ballots Thursday

For the first day of early voting in the county on Thursday, roughly 2,478 people came out to cast ballots at the four voting locations. That tally accounted for roughly 6 percent of the county’s total number of registered voters (42,300), according to Kimberly Blackwelder, director of elections for the county.

Blackwelder said it was quite impressive for a single day.

It’s hard to compare Thursday’s turnout with the first day of early voting in 2016 because only one voting location, the board of elections, was open, during which 1,024 people voted. Once the other three sites opened a few days later, 1,863 people came out to vote — still a lot less than Thursday’s total.

According to early voting data posted on the board of elections website, 1,040 people voted at the board of elections in Albemarle, 687 people voted at Locust Town Center, 383 people voted at the New London Fire Department and 368 people voted at the Norwood Community Building. A total of 633 registered Democrats, 1,238 Republicans and 605 Unaffiliated voters came out to cast ballots.

White people in the county accounted for 2,017 votes while Black people accounted for 294 votes and 1,272 females voted compared to 1,075 males.

An impressive line of people had already formed outside the Stanly County board of elections office an hour before voting commenced at 8 a.m., Blackwelder said, adding that the other locations also had lines in the morning.

“In presidential elections we always have a big turnout on the first day and the last day,” Blackwelder said.

While the lines can appear longer due to people socially distancing, “I was pleased with the turnout,” she said.

Each of the four early voting sites are open from 8 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Curbside voting is also available. Early voting will run through Oct. 31. For people wanting to avoid waiting in a long line, Blackwelder said the best time to vote at the board of elections site would be after 5 p.m.

The board of elections has also mailed out 4,225 ballots and has received 2,200 ballots from absentee by-mail voters, Blackwelder said.