Election Day is just 4 days away and Friday brought another large turnout for early-voting. Tomorrow is the last day of early-voting. Large turnouts at the polls have caused several counties to extend the deadline to meet the demand. With all the talk about the heavy turnout for this year's elections, many voters made sure they were prepared before getting in line. Josh Harris said, “I came by here yesterday and saw the huge line. I just drove by because I didn't have my ipod and I needed something to do while I was waiting in line.” Another early voter, Gerri Barnes, said, “I asked and they said it was going to be an hour and twenty minute wait. I don't like to waste time and I love to read, so it seemed like I could kill two birds with one stone.” Some even tried voting in groups. “I brought two of my teammates with me so I will probably just end up talking to the two of them,” said Kevon Moore. But it was not enough to overcome the slow moving crowds. Kevon later said, “Seeing as they're looking like they're kind of bored right now, I am glad I did bring my things.” Some of the voters tried to play analyst to help pass the time. Bob McLaughlin said, “We'll probably see the largest vote in American history.” Early voting numbers in our area suggest that might just be the case. According to the Board of Elections, New Hanover and Brunswick counties turnout has already more than doubled their previous records. In Bladen and Columbus counties the turnout is already 3 times larger than they have ever seen. But Pender County has seen the greatest increase in early voters, with a turnout more than 4 times its largest turnout. Despite the numbers, voters found some polling places like North Brunswick High School had almost no wait. “I was expecting a lot longer lines. I had seen reports and heard stories that people were lined up outside the doors and to expect it to take up to an hour,” said Mike LaBelle. There was no such luck for those in at the Cape Fear Community College polling location. Bladen, Columbus, and Pender counties will push back early-voting deadlines to 5:00 p.m. Saturday to help with the larger turnout. Brunswick and New Hanover counties will keep the original deadline of 1:00 p.m. For more information on polling locations you can visit our One-Stop Voting locations page.
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