NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - There has been a huge voter turnout for early voting for the 2012 election and some officials said the numbers are comparable to 2008 -- a very big election year.
In 2008, 60,000 voters turned out in New Hanover County during early voting and by mail absentee ballot. This year, so far there have been 51,000 voters casting their choice through early voting or mail absentee, and there's still time left for early voting.
Voter turnout usually hits around 65-70% when it comes to a presidential election. However, there are two big issues on the ballot this year. These two issues affect two out of the four municipalities in New Hanover County.
There's the smoking ban issue in Wrightsville Beach, and nearly 2,000 registered voters live in Wrightsville. Many have shown their passion about the issue in public hearings and of course the decision affects not only residents but tourists, too.
Also, there's the topic of bringing a baseball stadium to Wilmington and half of New Hanover County's voters are in Wilmington.
Naturally, hot button issues mixed with passionate residents makes for interesting electioneering.
"This is an enjoyable process, and should be, but tensions can run high at times and we've seen minor flares here and there but nothing to the aggressiveness to where it's been an issue," said New Hanover County Board of Elections Director, Marvin McFadyen.
Early voting polls are open in New Hanover County on Saturday from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at the New Hanover County Government Center, the Senior Resources Center, Cape Fear Community College North Campus, the main library downtown, and Carolina Beach Town Hall.
Click here to see the early voting locations in Bladen County.
Click here to see the early voting locations in Brunswick County.
Click here to see the early voting locations in Columbus County.
Click here to see the early voting locations in Pender County.
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