by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hundreds of people arrived at the early voting location at the University City Library in north Charlotte long before doors opened on Thursday.
Some people said getting their vote in now makes them feel better.
“I just wanted to get ahead of the crowd and get out early and vote,” one voter said.
Eyewitness News asked political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer to meet us there on Thursday.
“It looks like it continues to grow,” Eyewitness News anchor Scott Wickersham said.
“Yeah, and you will see this statewide,” Bitzer said.
Across the state, 887,000 have voted early in person, which is 180,000 more than in 2008.
In Mecklenburg County, 91,000 voted early so far, which is 29,000 more than in 2008.
The county added two more locations and more days to vote early in this election, and people are taking advantage.
Bitzer said the early vote surge is a game-changer for the candidates.
“We had half a million people cast ballots here in North Carolina before the third debate,” he said. “Both camps need to realize this is new the new norm. They have to bank votes.”
Most people Eyewitness News spoke to Thursday said it was about convenience.
“I'm on vacation, so I took advantage of the early voting,” one voter said.
“I know Election Day is going to be very crowded,” another person said.
But no matter the reason, Bitzer said it’s a trend.
This year, he expects 70 percent of all voters in North Carolina will cast their ballots before Election Day.