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Early voting turnout ‘greater than expected’ in Rowan County

SALISBURY — Early voting kicked off Wednesday with a turnout that Rowan County Board of Elections officials called “greater than expected.”

As polls closed, some 1,607 had journeyed to Rowan’s three voting sites — 1.68 percent of the 95,459 registered in the county. That is more than four times the first-day turnout in 2014, the last off-year election.

Early voting opened in 2014 at one site, the Rowan Public Library’s main branch, with only 387 voters by the close of business.

During early primary voting this year, Rowan’s single voting site at the county Board of Elections Office saw only 152 voters, meaning turnout Wednesday was 10.6 times greater by comparison.

Voting sites are at the Board of Elections Office in West End Plaza, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. W.; the American Legion building in Rockwell, 8580 U.S. 52; and the Rowan Public Library South Branch in China Grove, 920 Kimball Road.

The Elections office saw the greatest numbers with 876 visitors. The south and east sites each followed with 419 and 312 respectively.

Some 193 absentee ballots have also already been received and counted, meaning 1.89 percent of the county’s voter population has already cast its vote.

Elections staff reported that residents have been eager for voting to begin, with ballots containing new races for the county and six proposed — and highly publicized — constitutional amendments.

This year, Rowan’s voters will elect their first state senator for the newly drawn District 33 covering Stanly and Rowan counties. They will also choose representatives in state House Districts 76, 77 and 83 — each covering new portions of the county according to maps finalized in January.

Early voting will continue at all sites from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday through Nov. 2, with Saturday voting from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3.

All locations will be closed on Sundays.

Unregistered voters may sign up to vote at the same time they cast their ballots.

To see a sample ballot, go to https://vt.ncsbe.gov/RegLkup/ and fill out the online form.

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