The line to vote early stretched around the block and took over two hours at many locations around Mecklenburg County today. More than two-hundred people waited during lunch to vote at the University City Public Library, including Taiwanese immigrant Sharia Nolan. "It's worth it," said Nolan, while standing in the hot sun. "I'm a first time voter. I waited 14 years and I just got my citizenship this summer. So I'm glad I can participate." Early voting began at 20 sites in Mecklenburg County today. Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson expects a general election turnout higher than 70-percent with more than 150,000 people in the county voting early. After unusually high early-voting turnout during the Presidential primary, Mecklenburg County added three additional sites for the general election. Joy Armstrong chose to wait in line on the first day of early voting so she could spend the next two weeks volunteering to get out the vote. "I waited almost 50 years to vote for someone who's Black for president and who's really qualified and I would not miss this opportunity if I had to wait for two days," said Armstrong. The Obama Campaign, in particular, has made a big push for early voting in North Carolina with thousands of volunteers and paid staff. Mecklenburg County Elections officials expect more publicity from campaigns to keep lines long through the end of early voting on November 1st.
Eager Voters Embrace Early Ballot
By Julie Rose • Oct 16, 2008