'I was surprised': Voters wait in long lines as one-stop early voting ends across North Carolina

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Sunday, November 6, 2022
Long lines close out early voting in the Triangle
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Saturday marked the last day for the 17 days of one-stop early voting across North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than 2,000,000 voters in North Carolina have cast ballots as of 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, an hour and a half before early voting sites closed at 3 p.m.

"Turnout was a lot of people," Raleigh resident Bruce Kendrick said outside of the John Chavis Memorial Park Community Center. "It was probably like a 45-minute wait for me, but I'm glad that I was able to come out, even though it's the last day."

Chavis Park recorded 1,272 voters on Saturday, the second largest turnout at that voting site, according to the Wake County Board of Elections Early Voting Unofficial Daily Turnout.

"I thought it would be empty based on the week prior, everybody telling me that it went so quickly," Dan Khera-Mcrackan said. "I was surprised how full it was, but everybody did a great job. The volunteers moved everybody through really quickly."

In Wake County, more than 200,000 people participated in early voting. The unofficial stats show more women voted than men and the second largest group was the unaffiliated voter population.

State elections director Karen Brinson Bell said the more than two-million votes statewide is a combination of the absentee-by-mail ballots that have been cast and those who had voted through the close of early voting on Friday.

"We've definitely exceeded the 2018 numbers both by mail and in person early voting," Bell said. "Knowing that we came into (Saturday) morning having voted more than 2018, we're definitely going to see some good turnout it seems."

Some of the issues at the forefront of voters' minds at Chavis Park include abortion, women's rights, bonds, the school board and the Raleigh City Council.

"I was very concerned about development in Raleigh," Marlys Deabla said. "The destruction, basically, of the Seaboard Station area. That was most unfortunate since that's my neighborhood. So I would like to see a change in City Council."

Bell attributed the strong turnout to the competitive races in Wake County.

"Some of our hour-plus waits today have been in Wake County," Bell said. "We've got some competitive races all across the state, particularly with the US Senate seat. It's also the year that Sheriffs are elected, County Commissioners. In many cases, new congressional districts for so many. So, you know, we've really seen strong interest in Wake County and many other counties across the state."

Voters still have a chance to vote on Election Day but voters cannot register to vote on Nov. 8. Voters must also vote at their precinct location, which you can find here.