Rowan County’s early voting turnout exceeds previous election’s tally

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, November 2, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — While Election Day is expected to attract a few thousand Rowan County voters, turnout for this year’s early voting period exceeded the same stretch for the 2019 municipal election.

Helping turnout is the fact that this year’s early voting period included three more days than in 2019. After the Rowan County Board of Elections in August failed to unanimously adopt an early voting plan due to disagreements on Sunday voting, the state board selected the most generous plan, which spanned from Oct. 14 to Oct. 30 and included 17 days of early voting. The period included three Saturdays and two Sundays.

As a result, this year’s election is the first municipal race in which voters could cast ballots on Sunday.

As of Monday, a total of 2,608 voters have cast a vote during the early voting period, which represents 6.4% of the 40,589 eligible voters. This weekend drew the most voters of the 17-day period, with 274 voters casting a ballot Friday and 226 casting one on Saturday. A total of 227 voters voted on Sundays during the period.

By comparison, the 2019 election drew 2,314 early voters.

The number of absentee by mail ballots is also higher this year compared to 2019, with 104 tabulated Monday compared to the 76 returned at this same time in 2019, according to Rowan County Board of Elections Executive Director Brenda McCubbins.

On Election Day in 2019, a total of 5,412 votes were cast, including those who utilized curbside voting, which is allowed for senior adults and those with disabilities. McCubbins said she anticipates this year’s overall turnout will be slightly higher than turnout in 2019 once all votes have been tabulated.

McCubbins said demographic information about voters in the 2021 election is not yet available. In 2019, the final turnout was 7,815 votes, which represented 20.3% of all eligible voters in Rowan County.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.