Mayoral candidates express concern over rain on election day

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A record number of voters turned out at the polls days before the general election Tuesday.

The latest figure from the Mecklenburg Board of Elections point to the fact that more than 36,000 voted early.

"A little under half democrat. The other evenly divided between republicans and unaffiliated," Elections Supervisor Michael Dickerson told WBTV about the voter turnout.

Dickerson predicts a turnout of 17 percent, but he's concerned about Nov. 7's turnout, because of the threat of rain, and he's not alone.

Paying attention to the forecast is at the top of democrat Vi Lyles' mind.

She recalls, "It rained on the primary day, but by mid afternoon we caught up."

As it relates to what may fall from the sky, Kenny Smith also sees precipitation affecting voter participation.

"It's a variable. You have to account for it. We're hoping our message and our enthusiasm gap will overcome any weather condition," Smith said.

The making of Charlotte's next mayor will collectively cost more than $1 million being spent by both candidates.

Lyles is quick to point out campaign differences.

"Now we have a real choice between a republican that's very conservative and a moderate like me that's a democrat," she said.

However, Smith doesn't mind being called a conservative.

He said, "I'm a conservative republican that's running to make sure that we do everything we need to do for the city of Charlotte."

Regardless of labels and branding, Michael Dickerson says Tuesday's winner will be defined by one thing.

"The trick will be who can get the base out," Dickerson said.

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