Early voting line outside of Chavis Community Center in Southeast Raleigh, Thurs. Oct 20, 2016.
Unofficial tallies from the first day indicate that early voting saw a jump in the Triangle yesterday, but overall, early voting throughout the state was down around 3 percent.
Wake County counted 12,253 ballots by the end of the day yesterday, spread across nine sites
; the top three sites were Herbert C. Young Community Center in Cary (1,935), Lake Lynn Community Center in Raleigh (1,795), and Chavis Community Center in Southeast Raleigh (1,700). According to Wake BOE external communications manager Kerry McComber, this was up from 11,242 voters across eight sites in 2012, a nearly 9 percent jump.
Durham had 7,785 ballots on the first day
spread across five sites; also apparently up from 2012, although we haven't found numbers from the first day in 2012.
But the biggest increase came in Orange County, which saw a whopping 40 percent jump in early voting totals from 2012. 5,377 people voted in Orange County yesterday over five sites, an improvement from both 2012 (3,864 over five sites) and 2008 (2,925 over five sites).
As election wizard and former special counsel to the N.C. General Assembly Gerry Cohen put it:
Overall, however, the state saw a slight dip in first day turnout, although the numbers will almost certainly turn upward after the results are confirmed on Saturday morning.
These numbers, in this area at least, mirror what we reported a few weeks ago
on absentee ballots: Democrats in the Triangle are voting in large numbers. And given the plethora of close races throughout the state
, that could mean the difference on November 8.