Early voting starts Thursday in North Carolina

“It provides a little bit more flexibility with work,” one voter said.
Bank of America Stadium is serving as a polling location for this year's in-person early voting.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Voting in this year’s election is slated to ramp up Thursday with the start of in-person early voting.

The lead-up to a major mid-term election like this year’s contest means a lot of work for local election workers.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections said that it is set up and ready for the thousands of voters that will cast their votes early.

County officials are expecting about 50 percent of registered voters to make their way to the polls this year for the midterm elections.

“I like to beat the rush, I enjoy being at the stadium,” Rich Holmes, a Charlotte voter, said.

Other voters agree, and enjoy the flexibility that early voting provides.

“It provides a little bit more flexibility with work, not having to leave the office,” Emily Knott said. “I like to participate in early voting so I can make sure that it’s done.”

Starting Thursday, people living in Mecklenburg County will have 24 sites for early voting.

“People seem to like to vote early so it’s a great opportunity, you pick the time, you pick the day, you pick the location you want to go to, you can go to any of these sites,” Michael Dickerson, the Director of Elections for Mecklenburg County, said.

The county’s Board of Elections said that 90 percent of all votes in the 2020 election were cast during the early voting period.

“It’s safe, it’s secure and it’s a great way to take care of your vote,” Dickerson added.

Voters feel the early voting period gives them time to cast their just in case they encounter problems on Election Day.

“Should something come up on election day like inclement weather or an illness or something like that, you’ve got it out of the way, your voice has been heard,” Holmes said.

The county has dozens of races ranging from federal seats, the state general assembly, local boards and bond referendums that will appear on the ballot this year. The Board of Elections is expecting increased participation from voters this election cycle.

“We’re looking anywhere from a 50 to 55% turnout here in this county, and those will be good numbers,” Dickerson said.

The county has received 24,000 requests for absentee ballots which is higher than normal four years ago, so far it has received back and processed about 5,000 absentee ballots.

The Board of Elections said that during a midterm election it generally receives between 12,000 to 15,000 back by the deadline, so it’s trending to hit that target.

“We’ve had good numbers there, but I fully expect we’ll see good numbers show up for this early voting process,” Dickerson said.

The county went through a redistricting process this past year, so it’s important you look up your congressional, state and local districts from this cycle.

If you’re not registered to vote in Mecklenburg County, this is your last opportunity. You can show up at one of the 24 sites with the required documents to register and vote early. The county will not be accepting walk-up registration on election day.