In North Carolina, more than 450,000 votes had been cast as of Tuesday.
Early voting and returned absentee ballots in Catawba County totaled 9,674 on Tuesday afternoon; in Sampson the total was climbing close to the 5,000-mark by late afternoon Friday.
With early voting ending Saturday at 1 p.m., many more voters have the chance to cast their ballots before Nov. 2.
Early voting has proved convenient. It’s easy, and people can go vote at their leisure without standing in long lines that are common on Election Day.
This is an off-year election, so the lines Tuesday won’t be as daunting as in a presidential election year.
Still, early voting offers a flexibility that Election Day can’t match since early voting is spread over a number of weeks.
Residents can also register and vote at a one-stop, Early Voting site.
The state Board of Elections reports that registered Democrats account for 45 percent of the ballots cast in Early Voting.
Republicans make up 38 percent of the Early Voting ballots although, as The Associated Press notes, Republicans make up 32 percent of the overall registration in North Carolina.
The Democratic turnout for Early Voting follows the national trend.
This year’s election features a heated race between incumbent Republican Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall for the U.S. Senate.
Marshall is the N.C. secretary of state.
All of North Carolina’s 13 congressional seats are up for grabs.
This election has generated considerable interest. It’s not too late to vote early.
And, it’s possible that Early Voting will lessen the pressure on Election Day voters and poll workers.
There is no reason not to vote. North Carolina has made it as easy as possible to vote and eliminate election mistakes and fraud.
The numbers tell the story.
— Hickory Daily