Local/State

Officials predict 4.2M NC voters to polls

Thursday, October 09, 2008

No matter the winner, it will be a record election year for North Carolina voters.

According to the State Board of Elections, there will be 850,000 new registered voters in the state by November.

Election officials said they welcome the increase in participation. But, several counties are already feeling the pressure.

"The problem is the mass applications we're receiving," said Gary Bartlett, Executive Director of the State Board of Elections.

"In Harnett County, they have one thousand more applications that need to be processed and we still have one more day for registration."

The deadline to register is Friday, October 10 unless voters choose to participate in One-Stop Early Voting. There will be 368 locations statewide, a significant increase compared to last years in order too meet the growing demand. Election officials are urging voters to cast their ballots early starting Thursday, October 16 until Saturday, November 1. They're hoping more than a third of registered North Carolina voters will try to avoid the long lines on Election Day.

"I believe we will be more than 4.2 million voters that participate in this election and that will be somewhere around 68%," said Bartlett, "Every urban county is going to be stressed. The other counties that will be stressed are small counties that do not have many staff people that get an influx of new registrations. The will be stressed too."

According to the latest registration report, there are more than six million registered voters in the state. About 2.7 million have registered as Democrats, 1.9 million as Republicans, 1.3 million are unaffiliated.

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