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Last Chance To Early Vote In North Carolina

Photo: A Massachusetts voting station sign
Katri Niemi

Saturday marks the final hours of early voting ahead of Tuesday's election. Polling sites across the state will close at 1 p.m.

The number of early voting days was reduced this year from 17 to 10, leading to a series of lawsuits fearing a decrease in voter opportunity and turnout, particularly among minorities. But State Board of Elections spokesman Josh Lawson says African American turnout has already been high.

"Even if voting had ended on Thursday, African American participation was already up by nearly 8 percent, as compared to 2010," said Lawson.  "That's overall turnout. But we're watching different demographics and profiles out there to see if there had been a change, even with the compacted schedule."

One group not showing up in such high numbers is 18 to 22-year-olds.

"And we're seeing right now that it might be down by about 7 percent," said Lawson. "We have Friday and Saturday numbers that will be added in, but as a proportion of overall early voters, we're seeing them down."

Overall, more than 800,000 people had voted heading into Friday. About 48 percent were registered Democrats and 31 percent were registered Republicans.

Stories, features and more by WUNC News Staff. Also, features and commentary not by any one reporter.
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