Record number of voters in N.C. cast ballots early

Voters waited in a long line at Brown Douglas Recreation Center.

Record number of voters in N.C. cast ballots early
October 21
13:25 2020

More North Carolinians than ever voted during the first week of One-Stop Early Voting. According to statistics provided by the N.C. Board of Elections (NCBOE), on the first day of the early voting period on Thursday, Oct. 15, more than 230,000 cast ballots across the state; in 2016 only about 166,000 ballots were cast statewide on the first day. 

In the past week more than 1 million people have voted across the state, and here in Forsyth County more than 50,000 people cast ballots during the first week of early voting. An additional 28,000 ballots have been sent by mail, which means by Election Day more than 80,000 voters in Forsyth County will have already voted.

While at most of the 17 sites across the county voters were able to get in and out in less than 15 minutes on the first day of early voting, several locations saw lines wrapped around the building. A poll worker at Brown Douglas Recreation Center told The Chronicle a line of cars had already formed when she arrived at 8 a.m. 

A few miles away on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, voters waiting in line were treated to a surprise performance by the Marching Red Sea of Sound. The award-winning band led a convoy of students, community leaders, and alumni to the Anderson Center where they cast their ballots. 

At Winston Lake Family YMCA, traffic has stayed steady throughout the early voting period. “There was no line at all when I went through,” said James Dawkins after casting his ballot last Friday afternoon. “I always vote early because it’s less hassle and this year with the pandemic, it just makes more sense to vote early where there’s not as many people.” 

In a press release discussing the record-setting voting turnout, the State Board of Elections, said they are glad to see citizens take advantage of early voting and the mail-in option. 

“The State Board is glad to see North Carolina voters taking advantage of the different options to cast a ballot,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The county board of elections and elections workers worked diligently to ensure a successful first day of early voting. We thank them for their heroic efforts.”

The early voting period runs from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Saturday, Oct. 31. During the early voting period, citizens may cast a ballot at any early voting site in the county. If you’ve voted in N.C. before, you will not need to show ID to vote, but voters will be asked to give their name and address before receiving a ballot. 

Those who are not registered to vote can take advantage of same-day registration. According to the N.C. State Board of Elections (NCSBE), same-day registrants must sign a voter registration application, attest to their eligibility, and provide proof of where they live, such as a driver’s license or other photo ID, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck. 

Within two business days of the person’s registration, the county Board of Elections will verify the registrant’s driver’s license or Social Security number, update the voter registration database, search for possible duplicate registrations, and begin to verify the registrant’s address by mail. The registrant’s ballot will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that he or she is not qualified to vote that ballot.

Monday through Friday polls will be open from 8 a.m. – 7: 30 p.m., on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1–5 p.m. Curbside voting is also available at all early voting sites for those with a health impairment.

For more information and a complete list of early voting sites in Forsyth County, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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