CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - In previous elections, Karima, who didn’t want her last name reported, felt nervous about voting.
She didn’t think her ballot would matter.
So, until Tuesday, Election Day, the Concord resident didn’t bother to vote.
Karima went to the polls for the first time, just like a record-setting amount of people across the state and the country.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years. Everybody told me, ‘it doesn’t really matter,’ but I decided to just go ahead and vote,” said Karima, who voted at Weddington Hills Elementary School in Concord. “Maybe hundreds of people say the same thing, but if these people go and vote, it will make a difference.”
Karima was hesitant to vote until she built up the confidence to cast her ballot.
“I was hesitant, thinking that my voice wouldn’t be heard, but I decided to go ahead and vote and hopefully it will count,” she said.
Many people across Cabarrus County voted for the first time.
Those who did go to the polls on Election Day, whether for the first time or for the 43rd time, said Tuesday’s process was relatively painless.
Election officials told WBTV there were lines early once the polls opened, but during the afternoon, voters were in and out within minutes.
Election officials expect another rush of voters in the final two hours before polls close at 7:30 p.m.
Bailey, from Concord, is 20 this year.
She voted for the first time in a presidential election.
“It feels like a duty,” said Bailey, who voted at Elevation Church in Concord. “I feel like people have died for this right. In a lot of countries, they don’t have this right. I have a lot of friends who are immigrants and they come from communist counties. They are not allowed to have decisions like that.”
Nearly 40 polling sites were open in Cabarrus County on Election Day.
According to county officials, by mid-afternoon, there were only few disturbances.
At Hickory Ridge Middle School in Harrisburg, about 50 of the wrong ballots were distributed early in the morning. Those ballots didn’t have the 83rd District on it.
Kasia Thompson, with Cabarrus County, says the mistake was quickly corrected.
“Fifty people came through the line and they were given the wrong ballot,” Thompson said. “The mistake was discovered, they were put aside, so we were able to easily identify who those folks were and everybody moving forward received the correct ballots.”
Otherwise, voters said the voting process was quick and simple.
There were Republican supporters and there were Democrat supporters doing their civic duty.
Some wanted changed in the White House, while others wanted to open up the economy quicker.
“We need a change,” said Gary Donahue, from Concord. “I’m tired of the lies coming out of Washington. I’m tired of the junk.”
“I voted for Donald Trump because I like his hair and he can dance and I like everything that he’s done,” said Dale, from Concord. “Joe Biden is not capable of running this country.”
Rep. Larry Pittman, a Republican candidate who is not afraid to voice his opinion, challenged Republicans to get out and vote for President Donald Trump and governor candidate Dan Forest, along with Lt. governor candidate Mark Robinson.
“If they don’t vote, they are wasting are a lot of good American blood that was shed to give them their freedom for the opportunity,” Pittman said. ""We need to get people out here to vote for Trump, for Dan Forest, for Mark Robinson, people like me. I’m a lot like Trump, I just don’t have the money, people who stand up for something, stand up for America and what our founding principals are all about, instead of selling out to China or Russia, or somebody."
The polls in North Carolina are open until 7:30 p.m.
Cabarrus County officials say they will get the results out as quickly as possible.