Steady Turnout Reported In NC; Long Lines Reported In SC
Polls in South Carolina closed at 7 p.m., while polls in North Carolina closed at 7:30 p.m.
Voter turnout in Mecklenburg County was steady, according to Michael Dickerson, the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director. Dickerson said on Tuesday morning that most precincts were averaging about 100 to 150 voters per hour.
A similarly steady turnout was being reported across North Carolina, with state officials saying turnout was about average for a midterm election. State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett said the two words he's been hearing from county officials so far are "steady" and "moderate."
Bartlett said he expects turnout to be somewhere around 45 percent of the state's nearly 6.2 million registered voters. That would be about average for a midterm election, but higher than the 37 percent turnout in 2006.
Voter turnout was heavy in precincts across South Carolina, State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said. Some polling places reported long lines through the afternoon.
That matched an increase in absentee ballots cast. In the previous two midterm elections, there were just over 70,000 ballots cast. This year, there have been more than 142,000, with ballots still being counted.
It's not clear yet if turnout will surpass previous midterm elections. About 1.1 million South Carolina voters cast ballots in 2006, roughly 45 percent of those registered.