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Increase in early voting seen compared to 2008

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TWC News: Increase in early voting seen compared to 2008
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RALEIGH — North Carolinians are making their voices heard before election day.

According to the State Board of Elections Office, more than 150,000 people voted on the first day of one-stop voting compared to about 117,000 in 2008.

Raleigh resident Gloria Jacobs-Smith tried to vote on the first day of early voting but decided to come back after seeing the long lines at the Wake County Board of Elections Office.

“I saw a line wrapped around the building and thought well I'll try tomorrow which is today,” said Jacobs-Smith.

She came back Friday and cast her ballot.

"When I came out and turned in the ballot, I said 'Yay I voted," said Jacobs-Smith.

Cherie Poucher, the Director of the Wake County Board of Elections, said more people voted early in 2008 than voted on Election Day.

In that election, President Obama won North Carolina receiving more early votes than his opponent John McCain. Candidates have not forgotten. Both major parties held rallies on the first day of early voting.

“All candidates et cetera have gotten on to the fact that voters like early voting and they are out promoting it which does help us also,” said Poucher.

Of all votes cast including absentee ballots so far: 47.3 percent are registered Democrats, 34.8 percent are registered Republicans and 17.8 percent are unaffiliated. Poucher expects the momentum to continue

“The closer we get to the end of early voting, the longer those lines will be,” said Poucher.

Representatives with the Board of Elections official expect as much as 70 percent of voters to cast their ballots before Election Day. Early voting ends November 3.

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