Brunswick County has second highest early voting turnout in the state

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — In North Carolina, 4.5 million ballots have been cast, in comparison to 3.1 million in 2016.

With the second highest turnout in the state at 68.4% of registered voters casting their ballots early or through absentee, Brunswick County lands at 78,764 compared to 49,361 in 2016.

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“That’s an amazing turnout for early voting and on top of that, we’re expecting a heavy election day,” Brunswick County Republican Party Chair Rich Leary said.

Leary says republicans have the advantage in Brunswick County, with significantly more registered republicans than democrats and more republicans have cast their ballots thus far.

“Historically in Brunswick County, unaffiliated voters have broken to the more conservative side, broken our way, as high as 65%+ in the past,” Leary said.

Some people even crossing the aisle.

“On a daily basis, we have a number of democrats in Brunswick County coming in and changing party affiliation, so I think we’re going to do well with democrat votes here in the county too,” Leary said.

Democratic Party Chair Tom Sapp disagrees.

“We think most unaffiliated vote, especially unaffiliated women, vote towards democratic ideals and policies,” Sapp said.

Sapp says many republicans are coming into the Democratic Party Headquarters and buying Biden/Harris campaign signs and during exit polling in the primary election, they got a lot of feedback from different voters.

“Lots of republicans came up to us. We were asking people what their number one concern was and 10 to 1, it was Dump Trump. Get rid of Donald Trump,” Sapp said.

Although, Sapp says republicans aren’t changing parties.

“I think most people just regret the vote they made for Donald Trump, the ones that are now voting for Joe Biden and other democrats,” Sapp said. “I think that’s the thing and we hope it transfers on down the ticket and usually it does.”

No matter how people are voting, both parties agree: more people than ever are getting out to vote this year.

To find out your polling place and other information on how to vote on election day, you can find non-partisan resources on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.