CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 50% of registered voters in North Carolina have already cast their ballot in the 2020 general election.
According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, 3,719,062 people in the state have already voted as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday out of 7,332,322 registered voters.
One-stop early voters have accounted for 2,887,132 ballots cast, and 831,930 people have voted absentee.
'We're six days away from Election Day,” Dr. Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College, said Wednesday. “That is an astronomical number that North Carolina has never seen before in its voting history."
Candidates, their family members, and their campaigns have been hosting rallies, events, and news conferences to drum up support and urge people to vote.
Ivanka Trump spoke at an event in Charlotte Wednesday, touting her father’s accomplishments in office and calling on people to vote.
"Vote, vote early, and then spend the rest of your time recruiting everyone you know to vote,” Ivanka Trump said.
Local Biden support held a news conference in Charlotte for the candidate Wednesday, highlighting the pains of small business owners in the pandemic.
"We must vote like never before,” said North Carolina State Senator Joyce Waddell, D-District 40. “We got to vote like our lives depend upon it."
Political scientists are looking at North Carolina as a battleground state that may be a must-win for President Trump to stay in office.
Bitzer said he believes it will be a difficult path to victory for Republicans if North Carolina doesn’t turn red because he said the likelihood is that several other states will have gone democratic as well.
"If North Carolina is not in their win column with 15 electoral votes, it is very difficult for me to imagine a path to 270 to capture the White House and the presidency,” Bitzer said.
In the last three presidential elections, it has come down to a matter of small percentage points that have decided if North Carolina turns red or blue.
“We are a true, competitive battleground state, and if somebody wins this year by more than two to three percentage points, let alone five points,” Bitzer said, “that could almost be considered a landslide here in North Carolina.”