Early voting in battleground state North Carolina

By Olivia Lewis

After months of preparation, calls, emails, debates and speeches, it is finally time to vote.

But wait: So many people have already submitted their ballot.

After recent presidential election voter lines ran out the door and sometimes down the street, many of this year’s voters decided to take advantage of 17 days worth of early voting opportunities.

“I work and go to school so I don’t have time to wait in line all day,” said Nicole Bruce, a senior international business major at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. “And I already knew who I was voting for a while ago so it was just a lot easier for me to vote early.”

The Washington Post reported that in 2008, Democrats led in North Carolina for the first time in 30 years due to early voting. This year, if Democrats don’t show forth the same effort, Republicans may take back the state.

While Republicans and Democrats battle it out, Independent voters will also make a difference in this year’s election through early voting.

“I voted early with my husband because we had the time,” said Carol Wilson, an independent voter in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “It was much easier to do it beforehand than waiting in line for hours-especially during an election as important as this one,”

President Obama’s win in 2008 was largely due to the number of committed youth voters; however, this year the youth turnout on various campuses has not been as enthusiastic.

“I think this year people already know what they want and what they stand for,” said Mae-Ann Hazen, a student at Forsyth Technical Community College in North Carolina. “I know a lot of people who have already voted so there is no need to keep passing out buttons and flyers all the time.”

But mainly, early voters came to a consensus that voting early makes it easier for them and it makes them believe their candidate has a better shot than voting on Election Day.

Hazen said, “I really think it will show what we care about as a state from the turnout of early voters. Whether they are Democratic, or Republican or whatever, the more support there is early on the better.”

The writer, a North Carolinian, is a senior in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications