NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The early voting numbers are in - and they're staggering. In New Hanover County, 64,581 people have already cast their ballots. That's about 5000 more early votes than the county saw in the record-setting 2008 presidential election.
People are looking for any data that might predict the outcome of this year's presidential race.
Voters from Ogden, Porters Neck, Bradley Creek, Parsley Elementary, and Masonboro area precincts have been casting the biggest number of early votes, contributing to a 40% voter turnout in New Hanover County before Election Day has even arrived.
Republican presidential challenger John McCain comfortably won all of those precincts in the 2008 election.
The early voting numbers are high all over the state. While NC Elections Director Gary Bartlett does not expect voter turnout to eclipse the record-setting 70% level seen in North Carolina for the 2008 presidential election, the turnout for this election is expected to be comparable.
Looking at other counties across our viewing area, early turnout has also been huge in Brunswick, Bladen, and Pender counties.
In Brunswick County, 40,344 ballots have already been cast, which is nearly 50% turnout in early voting alone. Pender County voters have cast 17,352 early ballots (48% turnout) so far, while Bladen County voters have cast 10,473 ballots (46% turnout).
In Columbus County, the early voter turnout is more modest. 12,876 ballots were cast early, a 34% turnout.
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