Hundreds of voters stood in line to cast ballots Thursday as the first day of early voting began in North Carolina, a move designed to ease the expected Election Day strain on polling places.
Voters waited more than an hour in line at Central Piedmont Community College near uptown Charlotte.
"I'm willing to wait as long as it takes to get my vote in," said Audra Volpi.
Leon Luckett agreed.
"Hour wait -- no problem. I've been waiting a long time to vote. I’m really looking forward to voting," he said.
The line also wrapped around the Guilford County Courthouse in downtown Greensboro.
Letisha Carter, 31, of Greensboro, said she was waiting to vote because she was concerned about crowding on Nov. 4. Carter also said there is a sense of urgency to vote because of the economy.
Voters in North Carolina can vote early until Nov. 1.
Maggie Farrar echoed Carter's sentiment as she waited in line with her young son. Farrar said she has voted early in the past but never had seen a line.
Farrar said the economy seemed to be top on list of concerns.
"It's the worst I've seen," she said. "It blows your mind."
One-stop voting also allows those who missed the voter registration deadline to register and cast a ballot at the same time. Both campaigns are encouraging their supporters to vote early.
Early voting locations for every county are posted on the Web site of the State Board of Elections. You can find a link to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections' early voting sites list on the Vote 2008 page.