By Michael Bitzer
With a week of early votes (both absentee by mail and absentee onestop, which is the state's in-person voting method), North Carolina in 2020 is ready to meet the total number of early votes cast in all of 2016--and then exceed that total.
As I've noted at the blog's twitter account each day this past week, the astronomical rise of early votes, by both mail and in-person, has been something that seems to put the Old North State on a record-breaking trajectory of total ballots cast. Of course, we won't know what that total is until the last ballots are cast on Election Day (and, honestly, that seems like it could be potentially a few days after November 3rd if the last of the absentee by mail ballots come in), but the pattern of 2008 to 2012 to 2016 of adding about 300,000 votes each subsequent election may be a bit low in looking at what 2020 is going to do. More on that later.
For the half-way point of NC's in-person early voting period, the comparison between 2016 and 2020 is just stunning.