2020 Primary: What you need to know about early voting in North Carolina

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Early voting in the 2020 primary begins Thursday.

Voters will be deciding which candidates--on the local, state and federal level--should end up on the ballot in November's general election.

Early voting begins Feb. 13 and runs through Feb. 29, with Election Day on March 3rd.

Primaries in presidential election years draw larger crowds to the polls. In Wake County, the 2018 midterm primary drew close to 77,000 voters, or 12 percent of registered voters; compare that to the 2016 presidential primary where 275,000 voters turned out to cast their ballot, representing 42 percent of all registered Wake County voters.

Watch: What you need to know about early voting in the 2020 primary
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Gary Sims, director the Wake County Board of Elections said the county is offering more hours for early voting than ever before in a primary.

"Wake County is growing," Sims said. "We take up 11 percent of the state's voter population just in this one county so early voting is a great opportunity for us to maximize people's schedules, when they can get out there, and also as we grow it helps us relieve some of the election day lines."

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In a primary, you must vote the ballot of the party with which you're registered.
In North Carolina, unaffiliated voters get to choose between a Democratic, Libertarian, or Republican ballot.

In Wake County, there are a lot of unaffiliated voters- more than there are registered Democratic or Republican voters.

If you missed the deadline to register to vote, you can register and vote during one-stop early voting.

The Wake County Board of Elections and NC State Board of Elections offer more information including sample ballots you can review before you head to the ballot box.

Quick links from the North Carolina Board of Elections
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