The state’s 17-day early voting period began on Thursday and voters quickly turned out in mass numbers, according to WRAL.
At this point four years ago, around 166,000 ballots had been cast on the first day of early voting.
The current number for 2020 was reportedly nearing 230,000 before the final tally was even completed.
State officials said about 11 percent of North Carolina’s 7.2 million registered voters have already voted, which amounts to about 792,000 ballots.
People and automobiles arrived at early voting locations across the Triangle before the sites were even open, WRAL reported. Long lines lingered for most of the day.
“Once we got inside, everything went smoothly,” Lisa Merritt, who arrived 90 minutes early, told WRAL. “I got to vote. I’m really excited. There was a great turnout today.”
Elijah Jackson said he had to wait more than five hours to vote at the Holly Springs location, which had nearly 400 people together in a line at one point.
“I just wanted to make sure I got here to be among the first to do it,” Jackson said. “I’m super-proud and happy to do it, but if I had to compare it, it’s no different than going to Disney World.”
At the Green Road Community Center in Raleigh lines wraped around the building, while the South Regional Library on Alston Avenue in Durham, had hundreds of people waiting on the sidewalk.
The Cliffdale Recreation Center in Fayetteville also had a line that stretched down the block.
One voter, Dorothy Lanier, said she felt comfortable voting in-person, despite public fears surrounding the coronavirus.
“We were six feet apart,” she said. “We stood on the markers as directed, and everybody had face masks on, and everybody did as they were instructed to do.”
Another voter, Rodney Marshall added: “If I use my common sense, I’ll protect myself and others around me, so I’m not concerned. Be cautious, be smart, and be aware of your surroundings.”