NEWLAND, N.C. (WBTV) - James Hollifield went to his precinct to vote in Newland Tuesday morning and expected he would be waiting for a while, in line, in the blustery cold.
Instead, he found no line at all. No one was in front of him.
“I’m certainly not unhappy about that,” Hollifield said with a smile.
It turns out that almost half of Avery County registered voters had already voted.
Officials say fears of the coronavirus played a major role in that.
To make sure no one had anything to fear about coming in on election day, poll workers in Avery County sat behind plexi-glass barriers and one worker would sanitize each voting position after every voter used it.
In downtown Newland, at one polling place, 100 yards away there was ongoing drive-up testing for coronavirus.
More people were in line for that during one stretch than were voting in the precinct.
Early voting across the foothills and mountains seems to have left Election Day a more relaxed decision day than anyone could remember, said poll workers.
Many people said they were just glad the election process was coming to an end.
Ralph Holden is a big supporter of President Trump, with stickers on his vehicle and a Trump hat on his head.
He said it is time now for the nation to come together.
“Whoever gets voted in, accept it,” he said, and added, “Accept them as their president and let’s go from there.”