Under the Dome

Early voting turnout sets a record

After a surge of college-age voting in the first week, early voting turnout remained strong through Saturday's close. Today, elections officials announced the statewide turnout broke all previous records.

The 490,540 votes surpassed even the 2008 primary election between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which drew 473,800 votes. With another 16,000 or more absentee ballots this year, the total will top 500,000.

Democracy N.C. did a quick analysis today and found Democrats and Republicans turned out at about the same rate, 8 percent of registered voters in each party. Orange and Durham counties were in the top 10 turnout, with the other counties being more rural.

Democracy N.C. also found that 100,000 unaffiliated voters cast ballots, breaking down this way: 45 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat and 20 percent unaffiliated. Both sides of the marriage amendment debate have claimed the unaffiliated turnout would help their side. But that party split favoring the GOP might suggest they're tipping toward passage of the amendment, which has driven the large turnout.

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