As North Carolinians continued to overwhelm early voting sites Monday, neither side of the race for the White House was willing to give an inch of this North Carolina battleground; scrambling to ensure voters see or hear their message before they go vote.
At the Capital Drive-In movie theater in Wake Forest Monday night, Joe Biden wasn't there but this 'drive-thru' Biden rally was designed to send the message that he's the candidate who takes COVID-19 seriously and can rescue the country from the pandemic's medical and economic fallout.
Masked supporters watched from their car windows; honking not cheering their support from cars that were socially-distanced six feet apart.
"It's very important to my wife and myself that Biden and Harris be elected," said Wake Forest Biden supporter Gene Dodd.
In a nearby car, Tonya Yomba wore her Obama-Biden shirt from 2012 as she and her daughter held a Biden-Harris yard sign up through the car's sunroof.
"I just had to get out here to show everybody that this this area is also supporting Biden -- and North Carolina, especially Raleigh and Wake Forest needs to get out to vote," Yomba said.
75 miles away in the Triad, Donald Trump Jr. stumped for his father at a commercial printing plant in Winston-Salem. There were few masks and little social distancing in the crowd. The president's son painted Biden's COVID-precaution plan as an economic disaster.
"Look at the difference between the red states and the blue states. The Republican states they say, 'Take some precautions, be reasonable: wash your hands, socially distance when you can, wear a mask.' Great. The blue states say, 'Let's just shut it down forever.' They destroyed their economy," Trump Jr. said.
Back in Raleigh, the first full week of early voting continued with the same super-sized lines we saw in the first few days. But by late Monday afternoon, a big announcement came from the Wake County Board of Elections: It's increasing the number of voting booths at six of its 20 early-voting sites. Wake BOE is trying to ease the congestion of voters eager to cast their ballots now. That includes the only polling place in Holly Springs. Polling booths at Hunt Rec Center will double from five to ten.
As the nation moves into the homestretch of Election 2020, this week will be a busy one in this critical swing state. Ivanka Trump campaigns in Raleigh Tuesday. The president flies into Gastonia on Wednesday for a rally. Also on Wednesday, Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, visits Asheville and Charlotte for campaign events.
On Thursday, it's the final presidential debate -- live from Nashville, Tennessee.
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