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How many thousands showed up to vote in Forsyth County on the first day of early voting?
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How many thousands showed up to vote in Forsyth County on the first day of early voting?

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Almost 23,000 people — almost 9% of the county's registered voters — have cast ballots during the first two days of early voting for the 2020 General Election.

Add in some 25,000 absentee ballots mailed in and processed so far, and the total rises to 48,000 people, or almost 18% of the registered voters.

Tim Tsujii, the elections director in Forsyth County, said the second day of early voting on Friday went smoothly.

With 17 early-voting sites to choose from, 11,717 people cast ballots on Thursday and 11,194 did so on Friday.

The voting place at Harper Hill Commons Shopping Center was the most popular place to vote on both days, with more than 1,100 people casting their ballots there on each day.

Kernersville's Paddington Library wasn't far behind on Friday, as almost 950 people cast ballots there. 

During early voting, people can both register and vote, and some 200 people did so each day.

Early voting continues every day through Saturday, Oct. 31.

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The first day of early voting in Forsyth County easily smashed the previous records, as 11,717 residents went to one of 17 voting locations to cast ballots in the 2020 General Election.

In 2018, 5,523 voters cast their ballots during the first day of early voting, and that was a great increase over the 1,566 voting early on the first day in 2016, or the 1,701 voting on the first day in 2012.

The numbers are not strictly comparable because the number of early-voting sites has varied from election to election. In 2012 and 2016, early voting on the first day was only at the central elections office in downtown Winston-Salem. In 2018, there were 11 sites on the first day, six fewer than on Thursday.

Still, Tsujii said the big turnout on the first day was no surprise.

"The first-day excitement of early voting certainly contributed to the high turnout we experienced yesterday," Tsujii said on Friday. "We typically expect a large turnout on the first day of early voting."

The N.C. State Board of Elections said that as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, North Carolina voters had cast 570,019 ballots by mail. As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, 570,070 people had cast ballots in person during early voting.

With more than two weeks remaining until Election Day on Nov. 3, more than 15% of the state's voters had cast their ballots by Friday afternoon.

Compared with 2016, the state has 4% more early voting sites and will have an 80% increase in hours for early voting.

Forsyth County Democrats have cast more than 50% of the ballots cast in early voting so far, more than double the number of Republican and unaffiliated voters who have gone to the polls.

Democrats have also accounted for more than half of the absentee ballots processed. Democrats make up about 39% of the county's registered voters.

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@wyoungWSJ

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