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Cornelius News

Devoted voting: Early Voting almost hit 29K county-wide

Nov. 5. By Dave Yochum. Exactly 28,916 Mecklenburg County citizens participated in Early Voting this year, according to the Board of Elections. How they voted will be unknown until sometime after 7:30 pm when polls close.

About 36,000 voted early in 2017. That’s about 5 percent of registered voters, and double the number in city and town elections two years ​before.

Typically, Democrats make up a significantly higher portion of the early voting electorate while Republicans make up a significantly higher portion of the Election Day vote.

So, the first wave of results—the Early Voting tallies—can be skewed. ​But municipal elections are a little different since they are nonpartisan.

Andy Yates

We spoke to election expert Andy Yates, who is managing Mayor John Aneralla’s re-election campaign in Huntersville this year.

“​Early voters in municipal elections tend to be the most ardent supporters or opponents) of one or more of the candidates as well as those folks who always, always vote​,” says Yates, who recently merged his firm with Greener and Hook, a national public affairs and political consulting firm based in Arlington, Va.

​”​The early vote will still skew Democratic in municipal elections but not by nearly as wide of a margin as it does in partisan elections​,” says Yates.

It means a candidate like Thurman Ross can take an early-vote lead in Cornelius, while Republicans ​catch up on Election Day.

​There were 15 days of early voting in total, 12 at Cornelius Town Hall and at 16 other locations around the county.

At Cornelius Town Hall, a total of 2,407 people voted, some of them from Davidson, some from Huntersville and anyone else in the county who found the Cornelius location the most convenient.

​The off-year elections are centered on local elections, including town boards and mayor, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education and the county-wide sales tax referendum.