Breaking down the record-setting numbers on Day 1 of one-stop voting in NC

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More Black people voted on the first day of early in-person voting in North Carolina than in six weeks of voting by mail.

CBS17.com discovered several demographic and partisan trends in the State Board of Elections data covering more than 1 million ballots that already have been cast.

That total includes the more than 333,000 on Day 1 of the one-stop in-person process that the elections board says set a single-day record for early voting and was roughly twice the number cast on the first day in 2016.

That single-day total also accounts for roughly one third of all ballots cast so far — including those cast in six weeks of voting by mail.

“People are engaged in this election in ways we have not seen in years,” said John Couvillion, who operates JMC Analytics and Polling.

According to the data, nearly one third of the early in-person voters were Black while only 16 percent of mail-in ballots classified as accepted or accepted-cured were from Black voters.

Put another way, nearly 104,000 Black people voted in person on Thursday — while just 88,000 did so by mail since absentee voting began Sept. 3. That’s a phenomenon Couvillion said was unexpected.

“That shows that people are determined — especially Democrats, they are energized and ready to vote,” Couvillion said. “And I think Republicans need to jump in the game sooner rather than later.”

While Democrats make up for about one third of the state’s 7.3 million registered voters, they accounted for 48 percent of ballots cast during one-stop voting and 50 percent of the mail-in ballots.

Roughly a third of registered voters are Republicans. After making up just 18 percent of the mail-in total, their share of the early in-person voting total was slightly higher (27 percent).

Couvillion expected that number to be even bigger.

“One-stop voting has always been heavily Democratic in North Carolina, but one thing I would have expected, with a lot of Democrats choosing to vote by mail, is (Republicans) could have at least broken even, so to speak, in the partisan stats on in-person voting,” Couvillion said. “But we did not see that.”

One-stop voters tended to be younger, with an overall average age of 58 compared to 60 for those casting mail-in ballots. On average, Republicans were older — 61 for one-stop voters, 64 for those voting absentee by mail — with unaffiliated voters younger.

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