ALBEMARLE — Early voting is underway in Stanly County and through Monday’s count, 2,547 ballots have already been cast in in-person voting. In addition to one-stop early voting, 525 mail-in absentee ballots have been requested with 167 of those ballots returned as of Monday. Republicans constitute 48.6% of the early vote with Unaffiliated voters at 28.0%, Democrats at 23.2% and other parties accounting for less than 1% of the total ballots cast.
Stanly County began early voting on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and has a single one-stop location at the Stanly County Board of Elections. The site is open 7am to 7pm weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. At the state level, N.C. has experienced six days of early voting through Monday. Statewide, Democrats account for 43.4% of the total ballots cast with Republicans at 30.1% and Unaffiliated voters at 26.2%. According to statistics at the N.C. Board of Elections, in 2014, the last mid-term election, Democrats ended early voting with 47.7% of the total vote with the GOP at 31.9% and unaffiliated voters at 20.4%. Currently, Democrats ballots are off by 4.3 percentage points, the GOP is lower by 1.8 percentage points and unaffiliated voters account for 5.8 percentage points more than they did in 2014.
Nationally, Republican voters have outpaced Democrat voters in early voting in seven of the eight closely-watched states — which are considered by many to be the states that will decide the balance of power in the U.S. House and Senate. The GOP leads in early ballots in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. The Democrats exceeded Republicans in Nevada.
In North Carolina, where there is no U.S. Senate race, the top races include competitive races for U.S. House in the 13th District in the Triad region and the 9th District in the Charlotte area. In Stanly County, GOP incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson faces challenger Frank McNeill, a Democrat.
Four statewide judicial races are on the ballot with GOP incumbent Supreme Court justice Barbara Jackson facing off against Democrat Anita Earls and a second GOP challenger, Chris Anglin, who changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican prior to filing and won a court battle to be listed as a Republican on the ballot.
The GOP majorities in the N.C. House and Senate are also on the line with the GOP and Democrats fielding candidates for almost every seat.