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More than 272,000 cast ballot on first day of early voting in N.C., state data shows
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More than 272,000 cast ballot on first day of early voting in N.C., state data shows

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Voters wait in line at the polling site at Barber Park in Greensboro on Thursday. Combined with mail-in absentee ballots also received so far, more than 826,285 North Carolinians had already voted in the election by Thursday night.

RALEIGH — As the sun rose Thursday, voters at some polling stations in the state formed lines hundreds of people deep, waiting hours to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting in North Carolina for the Nov. 3 election.

The number of ballots crept up all day: 76,000 by noon. The state reported 170,000 as of 3:30 p.m.

With two hours left to go, 230,000 ballots were cast.

And as the polls closed at 7:30 p.m., North Carolina voters had cast more than 272,000 votes, far surpassing the first day of early voting in 2016, when roughly 166,000 ballots were cast, the N.C. State Board of Elections reported. As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, that number had risen to 362,328.

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However, direct comparisons are difficult because early voting was handled differently in 2016. For example, Guilford County had one site open on the first day that year. The Old Guilford County Courthouse site logged 1,649 voters that first day. By comparison, 14,292 people had cast ballots at one of Guilford County's 25 early voting sites on the first day of early voting this year, according to data posted late Thursday by the county Board of Elections Office. More Democrats (8,301) voted on the first day than any other group, followed by unaffiliated voters (3,029) and Republicans (2,916), data shows.

Combined with mail-in absentee ballots also received so far, more than 826,285 North Carolinians had already voted in the election by Thursday night, about 11% of registered voters, the state elections board reported.

Early voting runs through Oct. 31.

Early voting map

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