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Record turnout: Local election officials talk about number of people voting this week

Record turnout: Local election officials talk about number of people voting this week
A steady line of voters waited outside the McDowell County Board of Elections to cast their ballots Friday. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

According to the North Carolina Board of elections, more than one million people have either mailed in their ballots or voted early in person.

A steady line of voters waited outside the McDowell County Board of Elections to cast their ballots Friday.

“It was a good experience. We didn’t have any problem,” Marion voter Susan Mitchell said.

Mitchell was one of nearly 2,000 voters across the county to participate in one-stop early voting within the last two days -- a record start to a general election in the county, according to election director Kim Welborn.

“When the numbers for absentee by mail were so large, we knew we were going to have an extremely large turnout, which you always do in a presidential election any way. But I think this year is a little different,” Welborn said.

McDowell is mirroring counties across North Carolina.

In Buncombe County, elections director Corinne Duncan said about 1,000 votes were cast per hour over the last two days.

Mail-in ballot numbers are even more impressive across the state.

“Looking back on our numbers in 2016 in the same general election, we had like 432 send in by mail. We have already received and sent out over 3,200,” Welborn said.

In the 2016 election, Welborn said about 68% of registered county voters cast their ballots. This year, she's expecting more than 75% to vote.

“We’ve had over 1,900 so far. For a county our size, there are 29,000 registered voters. So, that is quite bit,” Welborn said.

Mitchell said it took her about 20 minutes to get through the line Friday, and it was worth every minute.

“We want people to go out and go vote. Doesn’t matter who you vote for,” Mitchell said.

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